What is the Poor to Peak Performance Continuum? Part 2

From Poor to Peak Performance – Part 2

In Part 1 (click here to read it ) we questioned the Learning & Development (L&D) status quo and made a bold suggestion that knowledge training was in effect a complete waste of time. (But it wasn’t that bold as others have researched it in detail and if you Google it the evidence is out there – but don’t dig too deep as it may shock you.)

Here we look at the business reality and what could easily happen if an organisation were to take up our offer – it’s a GUARANTEED offer if the organisation wants to change. Because what you see in the picture below actually happens. And it starts to happen during the first workshop.

Behavioural Waste Reduction to Performance Improvement

Current interventions – the reality

We know from the Gallup surveys that the vast majority of people in organisations are disengaged either passively or actively, and these are generally poor and ineffective performers who generate Behavioural Waste™.

So what difference would it make to your organisation if people stopped or reduced the behaviours and activities that cause Behavioural Waste™? What if they converted 1 hour a day from Behavioural Waste™ into being more engaged and increased productive time?

We know that L&D’s aim to ‘unlock people’s potential’ also does not work.

Should we simply lower our sights and seek to get a majority of people, the 87%, to become ‘just good enough’?

People regularly move between different performance states

We know that people, who are Mind Fit and have a Can-Do attitude, willingly perform to their optimum in different situations. All they need is a reason for doing so, have some control over what they do and how they do it. The optimum level will depend on the amount of experience a person has at that point in time. For most it may not be at a peak level. With the right conditions a person will at least be a good performer or even an excellent performer if that’s what they choose, and deliver value.

However, if the job is such that people find it boring and they can see no purpose in it then they will simply function and probably play games (business politics). What that means is they will probably be a poor and ineffective performer. In other words, one of the 87% of disengaged workers. Let’s face it, some jobs are repetitive in accounting, sales, IT etc and yet you’ll know of two people doing the same job – one who’s engaged and the other just functioning.

Performance Continuum

What if we looked at performance as a continuum? One in which employees could move from one end to the other at any moment in time depending on what the task is. Businesses mostly do this anyway and have terms like outstanding, good, average, needs help(!) applied to their teams.

While you’re reading this you might want to ask the question “Who goes to work deliberately to fail?”

                  Poor —— Just good enough —— Good —— Excellent —— Peak

Poor performers are ineffective and usually operate with a Can’t-Do or Won’t-Do attitude. They come to work and avoid what should be done or make excuses for not doing something. They generate most Behavioural Waste™. They are an expensive resource for the organisation but you can’t afford to lose them. In one hospital in the UK most nurse managers spent a majority of their day in meetings that were unproductive. That is cultural Behavioural Waste™ – which drags down the individual even if they are high performers!

Just good enough performers also have a negative attitude and do the bare minimum of what they should be doing. However, what they do is often what the organisation requires of them at a basic level. They are the moaners and blamers who spend a lot of time talking instead of working. These are the “jobs worth” types. In one Power Company we found engineers working for only 2 hours per shift whilst the rest of the time was spent avoiding real work.

Good performers have a Can-Do attitude and know why they are at work and want to deliver a good job that is of value. Their level of awareness is high and they will know what is going on around them. They will seek advice to improve and are willing to learn. Such employees are generally trustworthy and make good team members. The workforce on the Brompton Fold-up cycle assembly line are a perfect fit in here. They are very active, proud of what the company makes and like being part of the team.

Excellent performers go that extra mile. Not only will they deliver value but will routinely add value to their role. These people are innovative and look for new ways of doing things to improve effectiveness and efficiency. Many will be seen as the high flyers in an organisation. But don’t be fooled by rank! An unskilled person employed in a paint shop on a production line identified 25 improvements that could be made to the production process along the whole assembly line and over half were implemented. The company saved £100,000s.

Peak performers can be found in a myriad of roles in an organisation and elsewhere. They look far beyond their immediate role and constantly identify ways of improving their own performance and doing much more. Such people are driven to succeed. Peak performing managers do exist as Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman have published in their latest research where these people drive results and employee engagement at the same time. Peak performers include London black cab drivers that have learnt ‘the knowledge’, comedians such as Michael McIntyre or top barristers. All have spent thousand of hours improving.

Where does your organisation fit?

Round pegs in square holes Think about these questions on a personal, team and organisation level:

  • Where on the continuum do you consistently operate from?
  • What causes you to move your performance along the continuum in both directions?
  • How much of your time at work do you deliver or add value?

The Business Reality

What we find is that that poor performers will at some time during a day move into ‘just good enough’ and that is just good enough for the business. However, these people are unlikely to remain there and will require constant supervision. If you were to ask them and show them life could be a lot better, as we do in every programme, most if not all will change their behaviour. No one goes to work to deliberately fail.

Good performers will sometimes move into excellent and occasionally into peak for a specific task or role. They will effortlessly flex between the three positive levels as required. What can stop them remaining good performers or more is systemic and cultural Behavioural Waste™. One of the culprits is simply poor leadership and that can cause them to slip to the negative end of the continuum in a heartbeat.

Your New Reality

What difference would it make to your organisation if people moved from poor and ineffective performers to become ‘just good enough’. Could this give an extra hour a day of productive time to deliver value for the organisation?

What difference would one extra hour per day per employee of focused performance make?

What would the impact be on leadership and supervision?

What impact would that have on sales, production, or on service delivery?

What would have to change to move people from ‘just good enough’ to ‘good’?

Do you want better engaged employees that perform better?

  • Start by removing or reducing Behavioural Waste™ – personal, cultural and systemic
    • This reduces and prevents poor and ineffective performance
  • Identify what ‘just good enough’ performance is for all staff
    • Link ‘just good enough’ to delivering value
  • Encourage some people to be ‘good’ performers and for others ‘excellent’

While Gallup suggests 87% globally (UK 83%, USA 75%, Asia 90%) are disengaged, even if only 25% of employees in your organization are disengaged it is still worth starting at the beginning of the journey developing ‘just good enough’ performers.

Organisations live in the real world so it’s best not to be idealistic or have a utopian dream of unlocking people’s potential which becomes a meaningless statement as many providers do not know how to change attitudes and deliver results.

Would a paradigm shift from poor to just good enough performers be a good start for most?  Poor leadership, given their impact might be the best place to start?


As always you have a choice  – what’s yours?

GuaranteeTo find out more download a free chapter from Recycling Behavioural Waste or email us through the contact page. We GUARANTEE results if you really want to change.

What is the Poor to Peak Performance Continuum? Part 1

From Poor to Peak Performance

As we stood outside a conference room in Pakistan waiting to deliver a Masterclass on Behavioural Waste™ Management we did what we always do and looked at the banners by the entrance. Why? Simply because that’s what the delegates see last and it’s always good to know what you’re going to say first, so the audience and you know you’re in the right place!

At this particular event, there was a banner by the entrance from a Learning & Development (L&D) provider stating,

‘We unlock people’s potential’

which as ever got us thinking. It’s a great quote and can be found all over the world not only from L&D but it’s also prominent from coaching and probably other sources too.

One such coaching source, as some will say the guru of business coaching, former racing driver Sir John Whitmore, who sadly died in April, quoted in one of his books,

 “Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance”

and Graham Williams knows all too well having been part of Sir John’s team that John saw a clear link between potential and performance.

But what does this actually mean for organisational performance on a strategic or operational basis?

Do organisations really want everyone to unlock their full potential and become peak performers?

The answer to the second question would probably be a resounding NO! Now at first reading that might be a surprise to you but in short it’s unrealistic, as we’re only human and we can’t all be Superman or Superwoman and what would it be like if we were all peak performers? However when you think a little deeper what organisations want are most of their employees

to perform to a level that delivers value and, in some cases, adds value.

This would therefore seem a reasonable expectation – people engaged with what they do and ‘performing’ at work.

So when you try to measure this reasonable expectation what we unfortunately find, according to Gallup, 87% of employees across the world are disengaged, which means that they are probably poor and ineffective performers.

That doesn’t mean people are doing nothing and many are not busy, but that they are probably engaged in activities that do not deliver value, directly or indirectly. In other words, busy doing things that amount to Behavioural Waste™, which can be personal, cultural or systemic, of no value or of negative value to the organisation, and yet are costly and will negatively impact the bottom line.


If a majority of people at work are disengaged then unlocking their potential to some degree would make perfect sense.

This ‘unlocking’ process however requires a Can-Do attitude on the part of all the participants and then it’s linked to a clear purpose. Traditionally, the L&D’s approach to this challenge is to provide these disengaged underperforming people with an assessment of some sort followed swiftly with knowledge training.

Does this approach work? Has anyone ever checked it does?

An opportunity not to be missed

We regularly take the opportunity to ask L&D professionals five basic questions to try to understand how effective this knowledge training input has on improving performance by unlocking potential, and what it actually delivers. The questions are simple:

  1. What do you do to unlock people’s potential?
  2. Does it work?
  3. Does it change attitudes and behaviours?
  4. Does it improve business results?
  5. Where is the evidence?

What do you do to unlock people’s potential?

The first question is usually easily answered. With great enthusiasm L&D professionals tell us that

they create programmes that provide people with the knowledge that they, the L&D professional, think people need to perform their role in their context.

Does it work?

The second question took a bit more thought as most say that they sometimes did test the learning, at other times they didn’t. This did not answer the broad question as to whether their approach works. Nor indeed were they able to say with any confidence that it did work. But they all performed feedback after the learning – the proverbial happy sheet was logged in the filing system. Most said they used these feedback forms to bring back the best trainers/teachers.

Does it change attitudes and behaviours?

On the third question we’re told that it is almost impossible to measure attitude and behavioural changes. It was obvious this is a very strongly shared belief that dominated the L&D mindset and culture. It can’t be done! Sadly for them we know it’s not true. We do it! How can we measure the success of what we do otherwise?

Does it improve business results?

On the fourth question (which is what a manager, leader, board and shareholder wants to know) we’re told it is up to the participants to take that knowledge and use it. It’s not the responsibility of L&D! Whose responsibility is it?

Where is the evidence?

The fifth and last question is met with a simple reply, ‘they had no evidence that the training worked’ apart from the happy sheet taken on the day.

This last response doesn’t surprise us because it’s likely to be beyond their responsibility – but if not theirs whose responsibility is it? Who should measure the real ROI of the training?

Interestingly if anyone had looked, since 1989 (Alliger and Janek) it has been known that the link between learning, behavioural change and results is virtually non-existent. In 2005 Donald Kirkpatrick of training evaluation fame stated that there is a ‘devastating disconnect between learning and behavioural change’, and in 2007 the CIPD said in an article on training evaluation that the transfer of learning into results is ‘no better than random chance’. Clear research evidence simply proves it does not work. Is anyone aware of that? Should HR or L&D be aware of it?

The amount of time, effort and money that is invested in training by organisations across the globe is staggering yet they still do it, and organisations ask for it. If there is no evidence that it works, surely common sense says do something different. Or perhaps we’re just insane?

Einstein definition of Madness or Insanity

This is the first of a 2 part article because this 1st part may take some believing – but these are facts that you can research and a Google search may give some surprising results. Why not ask your L&D team to demonstrate improvements in performance?

Tune in next week for Part 2

GuaranteeIf you’re curious or keen to understand the impact of Behavioural Waste this free chapter is a must read Recycling Behavioural Waste

As always you have a choice  – what’s yours?

We GUARANTEE results if you really want to change

Is The Biggest, Unchecked Business Disease – Behavioural Waste™?

The biggest, unchecked Business Disease – Behavioural Waste™

Organisations believe in leadership development as there are $billions invested in leadership development every year, made on the assumption that “better leaders get better results”. Some, more focused (maybe informed) investors focus their leadership programmes on engagement, assuming better leaders create more engaged employees and teams and that then leads to higher productivity, better results.

If leadership development programmes are an investment, what’s the ROI?

Why make assumptions when the facts are there, if you care to look?

Well one thing is true and has been unequivocally proven that changing and improving attitudes and behaviours will improve performance (1). So it’s great to know that all those $billions spent on leadership are based on having the right belief. It can work! And that is also true in every part of life and can simply be seen in athletes and sports people, where focused training, changing behaviours by doing something marginally different will increase performance. You only have to look at the stories behind Olympic and Paralympic athletes, broadcast on most TV networks, to see where they started and how they progressed. The whole idea behind terms like ‘marginal gains’ is nothing new but has been exposed to a much wider audience thanks to TV, the Press and social media.

But who notices those improvements in sports people can be replicated in business, or other areas of one’s life? What if you saw the Head Coach as the COO, driving the business forward?

Interestingly, books like “Winning” by Sir Clive Woodward demonstrate the processes that Sir John Whitmore (of coaching fame) and his team were practising in businesses way back in the 1970s and 1980s.

In sport, it’s also well known that talent isn’t enough and Woodward’s TCUP (Think Correctly Under Pressure) made the difference between winning and losing. The bottom line is that attitude and behaviour makes the real “sustainable” difference to performance.

If you changed your mindset and believed everyone were talented in your organisation, how would that change your thinking?  

Now if that’s got you thinking differently, and prepared to take the first step, the burning question is…

Where do we start?  Behavioural Waste

There’s lots of great advice from evidenced and relevant research that says mostly the same as Sutton and Rao (2014) in their book “Scaling up excellence: Getting to more without settling for less”, highlighted in the Harvard Business Review in 2014. They point out the intuitive good sense that before leaders attempt to adopt good practices, it is necessary to remove the bad; and that this can be done by

“… identifying and reducing destructive and negative attitudes and behaviours that block the adoption of necessary change.”

In other words, the importance of removing embedded avoiding and blocking behaviours before introducing innovative practices. The authors’ research found that negative interactions with bosses and co-workers have five times more impact than positive ones to the extent that bad behaviours usually swamp the good, undermining the “scalability” or wider adoption of new excellent practices.  A key insight from this kind of thinking is the power of encouraging leaders and employees that they are “doing the right thing” when they start to focus not just upon their own needs and wants, but upon the people affected by their actions.

Eliminate or Reduce Behavioural Waste™ (BW) – the business disease

We could list all the negative behaviours and disruptive activities that could be in existence in your business. The 10 Fatal Leadership Flaws  –  Jack Zenger & Joseph Folkman (2009) – are all in that list.

But it’s easier to define them in what they are collectively –

Behavioural Waste TMBehavioural Waste™ – all forms of behaviour that divert energy, talent and resources away
from the personal or organisational purpose

Rao and Sutton and others have merely pointed out that (1) above also works in a business setting. Change (negative) behaviours and results improve, and you can now innovate, value-add and grow. Now the question is

“ How much Behavioural Waste™ have we and what do we do to get rid of it?”

Well the key is you don’t have to get rid of it and eliminate it. Reducing it so it doesn’t prolong and impact the business performance is good enough. Pareto’s 80-20 rule still exists here!

Organisations will have 3 forms of BW that can be quickly identified : Personal, Cultural and Systemic.

Each of these BW are business diseases and with the right diagnosis coupled with the right remedy, you can permanently get rid of them. A leader that operates their own agenda for personal gain, “do as I say not as I do”, or constantly uses management (MBA/MA) speak for effect are not the engaging, inspiring examples for your employees.

Next Steps?

Being a leader puts us all in a position of making decisions, but only those decisions that are ours to make. As you are still reading then there are now 4 choices:

  1. Free chapter of Recycling Behavioural Waste download – the business disease http://bit.ly/BusinessDisease
  2. Assess your own organisation’s BW http://bit.ly/MindFitFootprint
  3. Do something else
  4. Do nothing – keep doing what you’re doing and hope your medicine works

As ever the choice is always yours.

So what’s your choice? If you choose any of the above we’d like to have your feedback on what influenced your decision.

Where do Reality-Driven Leaders start?

Where do Reality-Driven Leaders start?

We’re often asked this question and what may be surprising is that no matter the size of the organisation the answer is the same – start with reality. Why? Because we instinctively know that’s the right place, yet we all make assumptions and hence we get it wrong, or feel lucky if we get it right. However, let’s take instinct and gut feel out of the equation and hopefully your common sense should become obvious from reading the following.

There are 5 roles that Reality-Driven Leaders perform :

  • Investigator
    • Challenges beliefs and identifies the reality
  • Innovator
    • Generates new ideas to tackle Behavioural Waste™ and identifies opportunities for Growth Behaviours
  • Navigator
    • Provides clear routes through the complexity that organisations operate in
  • Stabiliser
    • Generates robust systems and processes that remain adaptable to meet change
  • Explorer
    • Explores potential scenarios that build organisational agility to meet constant and complex change

and each of these roles are needed in any organisation so you get the best result. But problems will always arise if you make assumptions and these create or expand the perception-reality gap.


A common story – established department , new boss 

In the late 1980’s Graham Williams, architect of the Mind Fit Process® and co-author of Reality-Driven Leaders in a Complex World was put in charge of public order training in a UK police force. Never having been involved in public order, or been trained, it was completely new to him.

Most leaders on accepting a new assignment would accept the status quo, assuming everything was fixed and get on with doing the same job as the predecessor. A few might quickly assess the situation, perhaps make a few small but effective changes and then settle in with doing the job.

However, a Reality-Driven Leader would get on with doing the job so effecting a seamless transition but look at the big picture and start asking questions and then making changes that improves results.

Graham was staggered by what he found, the evidence, yet what he discovered is his new world is still relevant to how organisations attempt to meet the challenges that they face today.

This is Graham’s story…


Graham’s Journey of Discovery – the investigator

The evidence:

Police forces had been tackling various levels of public disorder for many decades across the country including the Brixton riots of 1981 and Tottenham Broadwater Farm riots in London of 1985. To provide protection to officers the police had adopted a protective shield similar to that used and designed by the military for use the narrow streets of Hong Kong. The shield measured 5ft 6inches high and was made of flexible Polycarbonate. However the wider UK streets meant the shield had to be used very differently tactically than the design required.

The new tactics required the forming of a 5 x man shield unit consisting of three holding shields that were held together and overlapped, and two officers behind holding their front three colleagues in place.

The shields and the tactics were extremely cumbersome and tiring and were not user friendly. Furthermore, they were not very easy to use in different situations despite variations of the tactics being adopted.

Reality on the ground showed that public order problems varied across the country and that the tactics developed were obviously far too rigid for that reality.

In short, it was clear that an off-the-shelf product forced behaviours that were marginally effective but far too rigid for the reality of the situations faced by front line personnel.

Blackboard square pegs in round holes

As a new manager, Graham inherited a process and it is often the case it was a result of forcing and squeezing the problem into the available solution because it’s an expedient way forward. But is that the right thing to do?

Eisntein perhaps said it well enough

Einstein 1 hour to change the world

 A new beginning

Graham realised that the police had simply started at the wrong place. They identified a solution to protect their offices – the long shield. They created tactics based on the 5 x man shield unit and then looked for the problem. This was clearly the wrong way round but, as you may also know is the all too common approach.

So, he started at a very different point and began to ask questions. Protecting officers was naturally one requirement, but that was only part of the problem and not the real problem. The real problem was managing public order – which ironically was in the title of his  department – Public Order Training.

Start with – What is the Problem?

So his start point was to explore the varied types of public disorder problems across the country. Then (as an innovator and navigator) he created flexible tactics that could be used in different scenarios. He then developed a shield which would also provide adequate protection. It was shorter than the original long one, had a gulley down each side that allowed good linking if needed, it was lighter and more robust and enabled officers to run with it for some distance.

 Police public order

The logical order to solving public disorder problems was obvious. First, identify what is the actual problem; second, what tactics are needed and finally, what protection was required.

Results measurement was also important (the stabiliser) and that fed back into the effetiveness of tactics and any fine tuning that may need to be made.

Today, some 30 years later, the smaller shield and tactics are still employed to this date, yet despite the improved results, there  are a few  police forces that use the larger shield.


The Business World

Today Graham’s journey above maybe what some organisations would  consider as a Complete Lean Solution, or a Business Process Review and of course it works. But the evidence says it has rarely be done successfully.

Research from a variety of sources says

“80% of Lean or Change programmes fail”

and as recently quoted by MicKinsey and the Harvard Business Review

“Over 70% of Leadership Development Programmes are unsuccessful”

Any good change manager or facilitator will know that the right starting place is where you’ll win, everytime.

While organisations will look at wholesale change programmes once in a generation, many will be investing in Leadership or Management Development with the expectation that such training will improve their management team and it follows that results will improve. So does this actually happen?


Where do organisations start developing people?

Providers, who are in the market offering various training interventions designed to meet organisational needs, tackle problems and improve results are still starting at the wrong place.Blackboard square pegs in round holes

In 2017 a majority of providers are still offering knowledge or systems solutions to organisations, which for example range from lean management, psychometrics, leadership training, value development and culture change, together with various tactics on how to apply them.

They then assume that the organisation will fit their (off-the-shelf) solution and tactics into the problems that the organisation faces. It is typical of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and that means adjusting everything else to make it work.

Meaning and Evidence

To give you some meaning to what we are saying a search on the web will reveal the obvious. If you look up leadership training it quickly identifies a list of providers who offer very similar products, albeit marketed very differently. For example they may list the objectives of their training that include:

  • Understanding the difference between leadership and management
  • How to identify strengths in people
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • How to motivate people
  • Making key decisions
  • How to empower people
  • Dealing with conflict


The list explored would give a range of knowledge to ‘wannabe’ leaders much of it based around theories and concepts that may be interesting but many are now outdated and may even be obsolete.

Here’s one example – a well used piece of information which has been rolled out by trainers for decades is the percentages relating to effective communication. Participants are given 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and only 7% of words to what achieves good communication. It is simply not true. Neither is the myth relating to changing a habit only taking 21 days. We suggest you check them out. Do your own reality check and google it – you’ll be surprised at what you might find as to the research done on either!

However, this approach by providers is entirely the wrong way round. Giving people knowledge or systems as a start point, some of which is or may be flawed, does not produce good or even develop good or great leaders. Organisations around the world are inundated with leaders who operate from a dictatorial platform that disempowers and disengages employees and results in poor or barely adequate performance.

Global engagement levels are stubbornly fixed at 13% despite the $billions invested in developing soft skills – regular Gallup research.

Even if on paper these are what you want, great development programmes with inspirational trainers just don’t work!

These providers, which are the majority, let the client down as their proposed solutions rarely delivers as promised. The CIPD recently said

“Success is no better than random chance…”

They are solutions from a different time and from different problems which happened to work for the provider or their organisation in the past.

“Knowledge is Power”

may have been the mantra and drive of last century, but in today’s complex world what is lacking is the right application of any knowledge gained.

If today all that was needed was “knowledge is power”, everyone that goes on an expensive sales course will therefore be great salespeople… wouldn’t they?


Providers appear to perpetuate their solutions through their professional bodies which makes them ever more enthusiastic. Clever marketing also rebadges these old and outdated approaches so what you get is the “Emporer’s new clothes”.

Check the web again, Google it for the reality. Here are some findings:

  • Lean management – 80% lean initiatives are abandoned within 3 years. Only 2% get the results they desired.
  • Leadership – 67% organisations think leadership training is a priority yet 93% of programmes fail.
  • Engagement – staff engagement is seen as essential for organisation yet for years Gallup survey has consistently reported 87% of employees as being disengaged across the world.
  • Value-based management – in the 21st century having values statement is a fact in business life. Living them is a different matter. Most fail because the culture is not addressed, the leadership is poor and people are disengaged.
  • 10 Fatal Leadership Flaws –  Jack Zenger & Joseph Folkman (2009) – and they are prevalent and stubbornly resilient even today.

The start point is not a poor quality solution that we try to make fit but identifying the problem first.


Reality-Driven Leaders

Today, we advocate the new role of Reality-Driven Leaders. These people operate from a position of their own reality from which the right solution for your organistion can be identified. This enables improved or new solutions to be found and the methods to deliver them.

Such leaders need to be pragmatic, flexible and relevant in all they do. They need to have the right attitude to challenge the status quo.

These leaders must remain flexible as the world in which organisations operate is always changing – having internal and external agility is critical to they way they work. The role must be cyclical so that it does not become bogged down in rigid systems and processes that often overcontrol but are built on changing realities.

If reality is at the core of what you do it really is simple.


Off-the-shelf solutions do not work or rarely do. Start by asking:

  1. What is the issue (reality), and
  2. What are the problems we need to solve in order to resolve it?
  3. What are our options, and which ones will work (choices)?
  4. How do we implement our choices (tactics)

Do you want Reality-Driven Leaders?

As ever you have a choice. What’s yours?



Do you know how much The Elephant in the Room Costs?

The Elephant in the Room – Do you know how much it costs?

PageLines- Elephant.jpg

The ‘Elephant in the Room’ is a metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is going unaddressed. These ‘Elephants’ are commonly something we know about but choose to ignore and it often applies to an obvious problem or risk that no one wants to discuss – they are a taboo subject. However, the one thing these ‘Elephants’ have in common is that while they exist and remain untreated, they interfere and often will completely stop progress.

  • How aware are you of the ‘Elephant in the Room’ in your organization?
  • What does it cost to ignore it?
  • Have you got one or more?
  • And how much time, effort and money are spent feeding them?

Simply by acknowledging that the ‘Elephant in the room’ exists is a good first step. Now valuing it becomes easy as it is mostly about time that’s lost. So in terms of time lost an ‘Elephant’ can easily take one hour a day away from the productive time for each employee. Let’s put a nominal amount of £50 per hour as a cost of employee time. The average employee works 210 days a year. If they waste one hour per day that equates to 210 hours wasted giving a cost of £10,500 per year lost. For 10 employees that amounts to £105,000 and 100 employees a staggering £1,050,000.

Don’t we really need to take the ‘Elephant in the Room’ seriously and not bury our heads in the sand?

What would you do if you had an extra hour a day to apply focused effort on what is important to your business?

A Challenge for You

As you read this article keep an open mind as to what is really happening in your organisation and your own thought process.

  • First, do not believe what you are about to read – but think about what is said and ask questions of yourself and your organisation
  • Next, try and answer some of the questions that you are presented with – truthfully
  • Now investigate what you have read and compare with your answers to prove or disprove your beliefs
  • At any time did you change your beliefs or have you chosen to ignore what you have read or discovered?
  • If the latter – what is your reason? What will you do now?

What is really going on in the brain?

One Universal Human Trait is based on what we believe is ‘the’ truth. We ignore or reject reality and defiantly refuse to check out the reality. We accept what we believe as a fact.

This however results in a lot of wasted time, effort and money.Behavioural-Waste

  • Our beliefs shape the facts as we want them to be
    • Our beliefs form our attitude.
    • Our attitude drives our behaviours.
    • Negative behaviours are non-productive.
  • The result – Behavioural Waste™ is generated.

What is Behavioural Waste™?

Behavioural Waste™ involves forms of behaviour that can be usefully removed or reduced, which prevent us from achieving our purpose and which reduce our effectiveness or the effectiveness of other people.

Beliefs lead to Behavioural Waste™

  • Behavioural Waste™ can be Personal, Cultural and Systemic
  • Behavioural Waste™ costs significant time, effort and money
  • Behavioural Waste™ impacts negatively on performance and productivity

How much Behavioural Waste™ does your organisation create?

How much does it cost?

Examples of Behavioural Waste™

Personal Cultural Systemic
Work on own agenda that conflicts with organisational purpose Meeting agendas poorly drafted, late starting and lack control Consistently produce data that is not needed or wanted
Looking for ways to sabotage people or the organisation Leaders use aggressive telling tactics and make all the decisions Focus on keeping cost down regardless of purpose or business imperatives
Talking too much often loudly to prevent others intervening Emails sent out in a poorly structured way to everyone to protect sender Driven by Lean Management without considering impact
Constantly use language of management speak (MBA’s/MA’s) Tell stories which are believed to be true but are myths and damaging Focus on systems that ‘do things right’ and not ‘do the right thing’

Which ones do you recognise?

What others have you identified?

Beliefs increase complexityEinstein definition of Madness or Insanity

Organisations are complex enough in our high demanding and fast moving environments so why would we want to make it worse?  Why do we make it worse by ignoring reality and putting solutions to perceived problems into the mix that fail to deliver the purpose of why we exists in our work context? People simply keep doing what they have always done with a belief that one-day it will deliver.


One of the effects of ignoring the ‘Elephant in the Room’ is that we put more energy into systems and processes that over time lose pace with the real world and become more and more rigid demanding more feeding.


Here are some examples of how to waste time by not checking out reality. None of the examples really work yet we keep doing them:

  • Engaged – Disengaged workers. Disengagement is a major issue. For years specialists have tried to solve the problem and they measure it year in year out to see how bad it really is. Gallup in 2013 found disengagement to be 83% in the UK. Professionals keep delivering exciting development programmes to address the problem yet disengagement remains high. The confusion is that organisational interventions are based on keeping people, to keep them happy with gimmicks to engage them, whilst engagement is nothing but a state of mind.
  • Lean management. Lean programmes has a failure rate of between 50% and 95% and the reasons are well known but there’s a commitment and a ‘let’s do it anyway’ approach. Lean makes sense and it is a logical approach and what’s more is generally needed, however if the workforce does not engage then it is ultimately doomed.
  • Change management. Regularly quoted as having a 70% failure rate so you are not alone if you are one of those. Once again you will often find ‘people’s’ beliefs and attitudes behind the failures.
  • Absenteeism. About 140 million working days or more are lost every year in the UK through sickness with many more in the public sector than the private sector. Despite many initiatives, sickness persists at an unacceptable high level. Yet we keep doing the same things to tackle the problem.
  • Systems Thinking. It has been around since the 1960’s and although new words are used to describe what it is, nothing has really changed. It has a high level of failure rate sometimes caused by the focus on efficiencies that tend to dominate and ignores effectiveness relating to people. In addition, systems thinking tends to tell you more about the provider’s preferences than the problem itself. So you end up admiring the method but alienated by the poor results.
  • Knowing – Doing. This is a big one. In fact it’s huge! For decades it has been assumed that knowledge leads to learning; learning changes attitudes and behaviours that in turn lead to improved results. Unfortunately, except in hard skills, this belief ignores the reality. Research shows a poor connection between learning and doing, so poor that the CIPD described it in 2007 as ‘no better than random chance’ and Donald Kirkpatrick of ‘evaluation of training fame’ said in 2005 that ‘There is a devastating disconnect between learning and behaviour’. It is actually very simple to link behaviors with performance and learning however, that is another story.

 What initiatives has your organisation tried?

Did they work?

How do you know?

If something is not working why waste time, effort and money on repeating the measures or on applying interventions that mainly fail except in a small number of cases? It is as though we want to change just as long as it doesn’t involve having to think in depth where we might discover what is really going on. Our approach and solutions to the issues are handled in a cosmetic way. Is it time to do something else?

Why do we buy solutions, which may have little effect?

What is that something else?

What’s needed is a role that closes the gap between what we believe is working and reality. These people will identify the ‘Elephant in the Room’ that needs to be removed and no longer ignore it but start the process to remove it. We call them Mind Fit Investigators.

The Mind Fit Investigator

Description – A person who carries out an inquiry or investigation to establish the facts and truth about something. They are often experts in their field, although some can operate in different context. They may not be a specialist in a narrow area such as a remedial farrier, vehicle examiner, a biochemist or in Forensic IT. What they are is highly aware, able to access and translate information and data, and act accordingly. In the world of organisations their actions are focused on delivering benefit to that organisation.

The Investigator asks those tough questions

There is a very essential reason that tough questions must be asked to evidence reality and that relates to another Universal Human Trait, that of pattern recognition. Humans are designed to pick up cues in our world, originally for survival, to find food or avoid danger. Today, those cues are used in a whole variety of situations such as risk assessments in Health & Safety, gaps in player formation on a rugby field, a fire investigator searching for the cause of a fire, or airport baggage screeners looking for suspect articles.

However, there is a danger as we sometimes see patterns when they do not exist and this can lead to a lot of wasted time and cost when there is no need. False patterns are one of the areas that the Investigator seeks to discover. The wrong pattern linked to false beliefs can generate more wasted effort.

The ‘Investigator’ operates, often at a senior or departmental level on behalf of the directors of an organisation, by exploring those activities at the point of convergence between:

  1. The vision, purpose and key strategies at the top of an organisation
  2. The systems and processes that operate to deliver the purpose, directly or indirectly
  3. The attitude and behaviour of people
  4. Individuals personal reason for being in the organisation
  5. The culture and its impact across the organisation
  6. The link with the customer/client

The ‘Investigator’ asks tough questions of people, leaders and teams, which may start like this:

  • Are you doing the right thing?
  • How do you know?
  • Does it work?
  • Where is the evidence?
  • How much of your time is actually spent on work that ultimately delivers, directly or indirectly, the organisational purpose and meets the needs of your clients?
  • How much time do you waste locked into non-productive activities such as routine meetings or running demanding systems and processes?
  • If we could improve your role what would you do and what part would need to be done by others to give you the time to improve?

From this initiating point ‘Investigators’ enquire and probe to discover those small input variables that lead to the current performance and productivity or cause time consuming and expensive Behavioural Waste™. They seek opportunities for the organisation to improve and grow simply by exploring ways that result in performance improvement rather than management of performance. Their focus is the Purpose of the organisation to ensure that it is being delivered and moving towards its Vision.

Put simply the ‘Investigator’s’ role is crucial. Without them the ‘Elephant in the Room’ will keep growing and need constant feeding. Here is a summary of the ‘Investigator’s’ role:

  • Identify the ‘Elephant(s) in the Room’ – evidence it
  • Identify, evidence and remove Behavioural Waste™ – personal, cultural and systemic
  • Explore Convergent Points for effectiveness and efficiencies to ensure that they deliver what is needed – evidence it
  • Identify Growth opportunities to increase performance improvement – evidence it

Elephant in the room


However, if you choose to ignore or resist reality the results will be as they have always been. Is that good enough?

The choice as always is yours.

What’s your choice?

Do you want to know how you can develop Mind Fit Investigators? Click Here



Management Training – is it time to change the approach?

If it’s not bust don’t fix it!

For decades, if an organisation wanted to develop its people as leaders, team players or as top performers; or for people to become more motivated, or have the ability to handle change, to improve communication, it simply left it to the professionals; those trainers, and Learning and Development (L & D) specialist who would put together a ‘package’ aimed at providing knowledge learning. It is the way things are done.

It works so why change it? Some specialists are in-house whilst there are a myriad of individuals or small organisations and professional bodies with the promise of success or increased performance or a more dynamic team. In addition, universities and colleges also provide management development training in various guises. It sounds so simple.

Years of experience in delivering training cannot be wrong – or can it?

Now this is where is gets interesting.

Two key questions relating to people development that many providers struggle to answer are,

  1. “Does it work?” and
  2. “Where is the evidence?”

If you ask an L & D professional the answer is invariably

Yes it works. You just have to look at the reams of feedback forms.”

This is an understandable and not unreasonable response because if your intention is to provide people with the knowledge that they need to become better leaders or to increase personal effectiveness then as a professional, you set about to ensure that it is provided in the most suitable format. You absolutely believe it works. You probably tested participant reaction to the event in the form of what is often referred to as a ‘happy sheet’ so that you can discover if the event met their expectation. You may also have checked on the learning by asking questions, or with a knowledge and understanding test. The results invariably show that people did enjoy the event and learnt from it so as a professional you have done your job. The longer the course the more learning can be tested. Who can dispute that?

Unfortunately, doing this you will have made a fundamental mistake. All you have done is test participants reaction and the learning. Providing people with knowledge that they may need to become better in their role does not mean it delivers results for the organisation – unless the programmes intention is just to provide knowledge. Where’s the performance improvement? Who has measured or even noticed that?

Putting it in context

In 1959 Donald Kirkpatrick published what has become known as the Kirkpatrick model: the principles for the evaluation of training. They are:

  • Level 1 – Reaction
    To what degree participants react favourably to the training
  • Level 2 – Learning
    To what degree participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitudes, confidence and commitment based on their participation in a training event
  • Level 3 – Behaviour
    To what degree participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job
  • Level 4 – Results
    To what degree targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training event and subsequent reinforcement

What transpired from this model is the assumption made by the learning and development community, is that level 1 (reaction) led to level 2 (learning – new knowledge), which in turn led to level 3 (behavioural change) which ultimately led to level 4 (results in the work environment). This thought process, this belief, assumed each succeeding level is more informative and connected to its predecessors. Therefore, knowledge provided causes learning which can be tested. Learning causes changes in attitudes and behaviours, which results in the learner applying new knowledge in the workplace. The outcome for example, being improved performance, communication, time management, customer service, leadership… or just being better.

Unfortunately, and largely ignored by a majority of learning professionals is the proven gap between the act or process of consuming learning in the form of knowledge, and the performance of observable behavioural change.

It is important to understand what type of learning we are referring too. Technical training has a high level of transfer back into the workplace subject to the individual being given the opportunity to use it within a working context. However, it is in the area described as “soft” skills including topics such as team working, leadership, engagement, change, performance management and stress is where the real problem lies.

The evidenceTalent-Management-Business-Master

There are several key sources documenting the poor transfer of soft skills knowledge into behavioural change and tangible results. They include:

Alliger & Janak (1986) – who found a poor correlation between the four levels of Kirkpatrick. One level is not linked to the next and each is a separate entity.
Detterman & Steinberg (1993) – in their review of transferable training they found 86% of people fail to action training.
Pfeffer & Sutton (2000) – researched and described the Knowing–Doing Gap
Bramley (2003) – comment on the supporting evidence for any transfer of learning into behavioural change being no better than due to random chance.
Kirkpatrick & Kirkpatrick (2005) – acknowledged the need to examine the reasons for the “devastating disconnect between learning and behaviour”.
Pfeffer & Sutton (2013) – reiterated the enigma and continued existence of the Knowing-Doing training gap.

With Donald Kirkpatrick himself highlighting this major problem it is surprising that the Learning & Development profession have largely chosen to ignore it?

The staggering failure of knowledge-based training to tackle real issues in the work place persists, resulting in large expensive investments in training having a minimal impact on changing behaviours and delivering tangible results. It has left organisations with many major problems that knowledge-inputs purport to address yet fails. Trainers are still trying to solve the same problems in the same way they have for decades. At this point, Einstein’s definition of insanity as the application of old solutions to problems in the hope that something different will happen springs to mind. This intransigence in terms of method probably explains the longevity of the same old problems in organisations, especially engagement and poor communication and leadership.

Learning & Development professionals need to acknowledge the reality that the traditional knowledge approach to change attitudes and behaviours has failed, and will not work.

This ‘gap’ costs economies across the world billions of dollars yet is rarely challenged. It is so embedded in our psyche that whenever a people-development need is identified, learning & development professionals are inevitably tasked with providing a knowledge-based solution to the topic that may include leadership, change, engagement or underperformance inputs. What rarely happens is a challenge to the provider when the programme does not deliver as promised. What you tend to get instead are the results from a ‘happy-sheet’ and the key learning from the event itself, and not its application.

How many learning & development professionals monitor attitude, behavioural change and tangible results?

How many know what to look for, and how to do it?

Many will tell you that it cannot be done – however they are wrong. We have designed a scientifically sound questionnaire that has been tested for validity and reliability that measures attitudes and behaviours and can be used to measure shifts in behaviours linked to desired business outcomes. This is want employers want and not just a knowledgeable workforce. You can also measure results if you know what you are doing or looking for.

Changing the Paradigm Shift

To close the knowing-doing gap a paradigm shift is required. The solution is simple; split the knowledge–doing continuum into two halves; then start at a different place.

  1. If the need is knowledge then seek that from the appropriate development professional.
  2. If attitudes and behaviours need to change to deliver the business imperative, then you need a different kind of professional.

And this is why a paradigm shift is required. The Knowledge – Learning approach is an ‘outside-in’ approach during which learning professionals use a number of relevant theories and models or provide experiences as the basis of learning. What makes it worse is that many of the theories or models are not useable in the real world, however interesting they may be, or have become obsolete whilst others have been misinterpreted.

The key for any professional is to ensure that any knowledge input is relevant and useable in the workplace. If the knowledge is interesting but not useable the provider is wasting time, effort and money.

If knowledge is relevant and required then the outcome of that knowledge should be learning. The problem remains however, that even if the learner ‘knows’ the relevant knowledge, in a majority of cases they do not apply it because their attitude has not changed. People justify this by making excuses such as “We are too busy.” Or “There is no money.” Or “We lack resources.”

The New Start Place

If behaviours need to change, then the real start-point is to begin with attitudes and behaviours and not the acquisition of knowledge learning.

Generating a willingness in people to change their attitudes and behaviours requires a completely different approach. It requires an ‘inside-out’ approach. Through new insights, real experiences and practical tools, participants’ self-awareness is raised so that they intuitively self-assess how they behave in different situations and the impact that has on performance, productivity and the end consumer.

To help people understand whether they consistently operate from a negative or positive bias, we use our Mind Fit Map® which provides a simple and intuitively understandable construct of where they consistently operate from namely, ‘Can’t Do, ‘Won’t Do’ or ‘Can do’ states. This enables participants to make their own choices leading to stopping or reducing old behaviours that waste time, effort and money and start new and focused activities that lead to improved performance and productivity for the benefit of the organisation, and its stakeholders.

By tackling attitudes and behaviours first, people often identify when they need knowledge that is relevant to them at a specific time and situation. So knowledge follows behavioural change.

A simple example of the behaviour first approach happens when we buy a new phone such as an IPhone or Android. We do not go on a workshop to learn about the new phone, its development history or technology. We switch it on and use it. We play with it, make mistakes and sometimes get stuck. At that point in time we go to the help menu for the relevant information and move on. We grow our capability to use the phone by using it.

The same can apply to leadership, change programmes, team working and so on. By doing leadership first for example, with a ‘Can Do’ mind-state, will lead to you being a better leader quicker with a willingness to improve performance to deliver the desired outcome. Of course, you will make mistakes on the way however, that is how you grow. Getting to the ‘Can-Do’ mindset should be the priority.

What about our Learning and Development professionals?

Unless traditional professionals and trainers acknowledge the Knowing–Doing gap and abandon their futile dependence upon knowledge input as the solution, organisations will continue to waste time, effort and money on something that has little effect and remain stuck with the continuing problem of poor leadership, underperformance and disengaged people.

The reality is we are dealing with two continuums. All you need to do is identify which is relevant at a moment in time and use the appropriate professional.

Business Change - are you fit for the 21st CenturyWhat’s needed to do this?

• First, acknowledge and accept that the “Knowing–Doing” gap exists, is vastly expensive and counter-productive as the approach is rarely able to deliver what it promises. The published evidence is out there.
• There is virtually no link between learning knowledge and behavioural change in relation to soft skills. Check it out.
• Accept that Kirkpatrick’s original four linked levels are in fact two continuums – ‘Knowledge – Learning’ and ‘Behaviours – Results’.
• Start with the end in mind – what attitude and behaviours will increase performance and grow your business?
• Create an environment that stops those attitudes and behaviours that cause Behavioural Waste™, which may be personal, cultural or systemic or a combination, and promote those behaviours that are linked to business and personal growth.
• Ensure that people have relevant and useable knowledge to perform their role. If the knowledge is interesting but not useable – don’t deliver it.

Make that paradigm shift
Simply start at a different place
Start with attitudes and behaviours

What we do is guaranteed so to find out how this will work in your organisation email us at growth@mindfitltd.com or use our Contact page

Why do leadership development programmes fail?

PageLines- NoticetheElephantintheroom.jpgWhy do Leadership Development Programmes Fail? 

According to a report by Pierre Gurdjian, Thomas Halbeisen and Kevin Lane and released by McKinsey this month (January 2014) four reasons are given: Overlooking context; Decoupling reflection from real work; Underestimating mindsets; Failing to measure results.

Will this evidence be yet another elephant in the room that’s overlooked, or will organizations take action?

  1. Overlooking context
    • Context is a critical component of successful leadership – don’t we know this?
  2. Decoupling reflection from real work
    • Adults typically retain 10% of what they hear versus two-thirds when they learn by doing
  3. Underestimating mindsets
    • Effective leader(ship) often requires a change in behaviour – often shirked in development programmes
  4. Failing to measure results
    • No evidence to quantify a return on investment

The report states that US companies spend $14 billion annually on leadership development yet only 7% of senior managers polled think that companies develop global leaders effectively.

Reed’s who are involved in international recruitment found that 96% of employers would rather recruit someone with the desired mindset yet lacks the skill set. This reinforces the message from the McKinsey report that the right attitudes and behaviours are crucial for success – and it’s critical not just in leadership development.

Is it time to face the facts?

If we are going to change behaviours we have to address some of those areas that a majority of training/learning providers (internally or externally) avoid – those underlying beliefs and attitudes that drive behaviours. We need to develop people who have a ‘can do’ mind with winning mindsets. People that are capable of operating in different contexts, know how to inspire, engage and empower and are not afraid to address some of those current practices which generate behavioural waste leading to under performance and a stagnating businesses.

Read the full report Leadership Development here: McKinsey 


Do you want your leadership development programmes to accelerate your performance?

Mind Fit is the prequel to training in that it solves the people problems of the 21st century and provides a solid foundation for personal development and business growth.  Contact us to discuss your specific context. 


Mind Fit and the 4 Global Strengths – No1 Awareness

Awareness“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”

(Abraham Maslow)

However, as we should know it’s far broader than just awareness of him/herself.

The key is how you do ‘awareness’ is what counts – we say do because you have to do something to be more aware of what is happening to you and around you.


The following is a short video about awareness. Take the test and see how you do.

Awareness – it’s easy to miss something you’re not looking for as the video message ends.

In a business setting lots of consequences occur as a result of not being aware. Here’s just one, fairly common example.

Awareness starts with ‘is it me?’  – The story of Penny 

Penny was a middle manager in her company and very vocal during the first day of the workshop programme.  She was highly intelligent and had a very broad base of knowledge in a variety of areas. She was always happy to speak out and give her opinion, and was keen to emphasise her intellectual abilities. She had a slight air of ‘knowing it all’ about her.

During the day, we noticed that some of her colleagues didn’t seem to be enjoying her interjections. By the end of the day, people were rolling their eyes whenever she spoke and one even let out a heavy sigh.  We tried to start a dialogue within the group and the man admitted that he found Penny’s persistent need to expound on every theory she had read about frustrating and controlling. Penny was visibly upset and came to see us after the day had ended.

Penny told us that she had had a troubled personal life for many years, and had undergone many different types of counselling and therapy in the hope of finding some inner peace.  She said that these endeavours hadn’t particularly helped, and in fact had left her more confused than ever, with a head full of facts, figures and theories about personal development. She resented the amount of money she had spent over the years, and wanted to feel that she had some knowledge to contribute. She also told us that academic achievement was highly prized in her family, whereas a more emotional, spontaneous attitude was frowned upon.

We thanked Penny for being so frank, and suggested that perhaps, on the second day, she should be a little freer to just take in what was happening around her, and not be so concerned with playing the ‘expert’ in the group.  Part of natural learning is intuitive and we can learn much from simply observing and listening to those around us. Penny took our advice, and the next day she was a much quieter presence. Over the next few weeks, with our support, Penny learned a greater sense of self-awareness and through personal effort succeeded in controlling her urge to intellectually dominate the people around her all the time. We cannot claim to have solved her personal issues, but she was certainly a more popular and trusted figure in the office, which had a direct impact on her happiness and productivity at work.


Is Penny’s story fairly common in your organization? If yes, what have you done about it?

Awareness is the first of the 4 Mind Fit Global Strengths Awareness, Control, Focus , Feedback.

Awareness – How aware are you?

Naturally only you can answer that if you want to. The choice to know more is therefore down to you.

Knowledge-Based Training Hasn’t Worked

Inside-Out Paradigm Shift needed to close the ‘Knowing: Doing’ Gap.

The recent September CIPD research report: ‘Real-life leaders: closing the knowing-doing gap’ concludes that “It is highly unlikely that organisations will abandon leadership and management development activities – even if they are not fully satisfied with the effectiveness of the programme so far”.

A bizarre conclusion and yet probably true. If Einstein was right in defining madness as doing the same thing again and again in the hope of achieving a different result, then it seems that the L&D HR profession is in the grip of institutional groupthink with strong elements of “I’ve made up my mind, don’t confuse me with the facts”.

Why persist in investing in an approach with marginal gains when we know that it cannot deliver what is required by both consumers and leaders? If we did this in other parts of a business we would soon be bankrupt. Let’s examine some of the evidence:

Sara Rynes in the Academy of Management Journal (2007) describes the gap between the science (evidence) and practice as so persistent and pervasive that some have despaired if it will ever be narrowed. In other words, evidence based reality in the field loses out against what people choose to believe as a result of inherited but failing models. It’s as though people are trapped in a form of thinking that is acceptable to the profession, but ineffective.

How many learning professionals check to see if the interventions that they have delivered are reflected in an improvement in performance and business productivity? The truth is that not many do and once again, referring to the CIPD report, the research found that only 11% of HR professionals see it as the role of the HR function to evaluate the effectiveness of leadership and management training. That’s nonsense! All people in an organisation, whatever their role, must ensure that what they deliver impacts directly or indirectly on the business bottom line and adds value. Otherwise it is a waste of time, effort and money that could be better employed.

Organisations constantly seek innovative ways of improving and growing the business. They seek new ideas, they adopt lean practices, delayer and outsource yet training persistently assumes that giving people knowledge actually works. The reality is that it rarely does.

Acknowledging the truth

If knowledge training other than in technical fields had worked, we would not have the unacceptable levels of underperformance, disengagement, poor leadership, dysfunctional teams, conflict and sickness that are stubbornly persistent in organisations today.

Conversely, positively driven people with a ‘can do’ attitude are engaged and engaged people perform. Here are some facts and figures:

  •  94% of world’s top companies now put their effort into engagement (Hay)
  •  Top 25% had twice annual income (Kenexa)
  •  Average operating margin close to 3 times higher than those with disengagement (Towers Watkins)

For more facts and figures from Gallup, Harter, CIPD, PWC, BAE Systems and more and to download the full article click here.

Talent management is important – so how talented are you?

We’re told Talent Management is really important to business success.

So do we know how talented we are and where the talented people are in the organisation?

There is a growing belief among the specialists in the field of human behaviour, that it is only a minority of people that are true to themselves. They know they are talented. The majority of the people in the world just function, get on with it and go through the motions.

Many people don’t really know whether they are talented or not. But it is a fact that human resources are like natural resources –  they are buried deep and you have to look for them. Ask someone in the oil and gas or water industry, they’ll tell you that a lot of the time you drill for it and come up with something you didn’t expect. It’s probably why business change focuses on systems and processes because the people element is just too much hard work.

According to some, including Sir Ken Robinson, Education has done the opposite of what was intended and dislocated people from their natural talents. These are the very talents that businesses need to be successful. Businesses can’t wait for more education reform or revolution, as organisations need solutions to talent management now!

There are talented people throughout your organisation – in fact they are all talented, they just need you to help them in finding how talented they are.

Mind Fit is the prequel to success – it will identify and solve your talent management strategy.

Everyone is talented – we think so – how about you?

Einstein fish out of water