Sunday, September 11, 2011

Developing a 21st Century Mind - Part 1

It is difficult to imagine a more demanding or more exciting time in human history than the 20th Century. Particularly during the couple of decades, we have been faced with unprecedented rates of change that require massive adaptation. In every field of endeavor – business and industry, government and education, science, human services, athletics and art – the challenge of dramatic and rapid change has confronted us. The 21st Century promises to continue and even step up that trend. 

Some of the challenges we face as we move toward the year 2000 and beyond include an increasingly high rate of technological innovation, the need to balance economic and environmental concerns, the information explosion, quickly shifting employment and career trends, a highly competitive global marketplace, a widening gap between society’s “haves” and “have-nots,” and the ever-present task of inventing a future that will foster the health and well-being of us all.

To my mind, one of the most critical concepts of our time is “interdependence.” Unless we, as a species and as individuals, can develop and demonstrate concern for more than just ourselves and our own families, companies, communities and nations, we will be falling far short of achieving our potential for prosperity, peace and happiness.

We can’t just shrug off the massive problems of our times, thinking that “technology” will take care of them. Technology alone can’t get us to and through the 21st Century in a way that benefits the delicate, interdependent web of life our planet supports. It is people working together who must create a desirable future for ourselves and for future generations.

But what sort of people? What kind of mind will it take to create a peaceful, prosperous and environmentally healthy 21st Century? Well, to begin with, a mind that is receptive to change and able to figure out how to do more with less. The model for this mind already exists, and it can be found, to the surprise of some environmentalists, in the corporate world.

Many of the companies we work with have had to initiate massive cultural and organizational changes in order to stay in business. To do this, they have had to develop new ways of thinking. With our help, they have moved from Newtonian to Whiteheadian leadership. They have moved from being staffed by people who simply do what they’re told to people who actively participate in decisions that affect them and their organization. They have moved from seeing employees as problems to seeing them as problem solvers. And they have moved from closed-door strategic planning to open vision-building sessions and free-flowing information. As a result, their productivity has increased, even when significant downsizing has been necessary.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Developing a 21st Century Mind from The Performance Institute.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Your Corporate Culture's Personality

Culture is to organizations the way personality is to people. Culture and personality are “interior” domains. You often can’t see a culture or personality, but it doesn’t take you long to sense their presence or your willingness to be in and around them.

When we speak of culture, we are referring to the habits, attitudes, beliefs and expectations that are the unwritten code for the behavior in an organization. It is the shared values or behavioral norm. It can be intense, and one of its purposes is to perpetuate itself.

In organizational life, the “wrong” personality can be asked to leave the company, but how do you address a “wrong” culture? What is right or wrong about culture anyway? How does culture become healthy or unhealthy? Why is it a worthy business subject? Harvard researchers John Kotter and James Heskett, who have spent decades researching corporate cultures and their effect on the organizational behavior, write culture is “adaptive” or “un-adaptive.”

As an example, when analyzing defensive or unadaptive cultures, Cooke and Lafferty look beneath the organizational skin to evaluate the way power, conflict, competitiveness, and perfectionism can impact culture in counter-productive ways. Also, their studies assess the non-productive effects of passive-aggressive behavior in the workplace. In other words, they look at how fear-based organizations predictably cause the undesirable behaviors of avoidance, dependency, passivity and extreme risk-avoidance.

In parallel studies, Gallop researchers have shown that 70 percent of organizational change initiatives fail, 70 percent of workforces are unengaged, and 70 percent of the leadership in these organizations are actually causing counter-productive cultures and don’t know it. At its extreme, in an unhealthy culture, work is seen as a curse. As a consequence, the highest goal in these workplaces is actually to stop work – (“I can’t wait till quitting time;” “I can’t wait for the weekend;” “I can’t wait to retire.”)

When the strongest desire is to get away from the pain of work, the unconscious defense mechanism is procrastination, creative avoidance and slovenly work. Estranged from work, what we are left with is a worldwide phenomena now being called “worker fatigue”.

For more information, visit our website.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our Services

The Performance Institute’s approach is based on nearly 40 years of scientifically and statistically supported processes that uncover the systemic barriers to change. We probe the root cause – the culture within an organization – and create the direction for sustainable growth. The results help individuals:

  • Understand how current beliefs and attitudes shape expectations for the future
  • Realize how being in control of thoughts, can have the power to change the way one lives their life
  • Obtain heightened self-confidence, self-esteem and a strong ethical center
  • Attain the tools and techniques which will enable them to be more goal and end-result oriented
  • Have ways of looking toward career growth within the organization

For any change to occur, participants from all levels of the organization must be involved. Actions, such as envisioning, open discussions, measurements, evaluations, executive coaching, and individual mentoring all generate the momentum to move forward. The Performance Institute’s alignment process includes the entire team during a phased approach.

Our Process

Assess Culture: The engagement begins with dialogue and data gathering, identifying goals and objectives with the leadership team.

  • Evaluate the shared values, beliefs and expectations that guide the way members interact and approach their work
  • Baseline measurement, providing a snapshot of the current and dominant organizational culture along with the organization’s concept of their ideal or visionary culture
  • Agreement on the cultural focal points and directions for change, using proven and measurable criteria
    • Business ROI
    • Overall and Individual Results
    • Timing of Process

Align Leadership: The experiential learning step for leadership.

  • Investment in Excellence® application and proprietary education on Model, Mentor and Monitor
  • Measure the leadership impact on organizational members’ behavior and performance
  • Executive Coaching
  • Develop a common understanding for leadership to align mission, vision and values with beliefs, behaviors and outcomes

Organizational Engagement: The step to bring everyone in the company in sync, to maximize results.

  • Measure the organizational culture with those other than leadership
  • Incorporate aligned cultural strategy
    • Investment in Excellence® training
    • Model, Mentor, Monitor application throughout organization
    • Coaching
    • Assimilation
    • Team Building

Sustainment: Reinforcement is the key to sustainable change at the belief level, in order to drive new behaviors and in turn new results.

  • Manage educational reinforcement through an internal Train-the-Trainer model, using predefined desired outcomes
  • Maintain organizational coaching and support, offering a continuous display of progress
  • Cultural re-assessments to demonstrate desired organizational change

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meet Adam Blair - Business Development Director

Adam Blair is an exceptional leader who offers a unique blend of executive acumen, global team building and solution development skills, at The Performance Institute. As the Business Development Director, Adam is responsible for creating a responsive people development organization that consistently delivers results for the company and its clients.

Early in his career, Adam worked for Smith Barney as a Financial Consultant. He rose quickly through the ranks and became a 2nd Vice President and an Investment Portfolio Manager. During his time at Smith Barney, he was responsible for marketing the Guided Portfolio Management and Asset Management services, while successfully growing his clients’ portfolios. He had six months to introduce and grow these two services throughout the Southern Florida branches and the Southeastern United States. Within a few months, he had accomplished this and both remain the services of choice for most clients throughout the region and the company today. For this success, he received Smith Barney’s Blue Chip Award.

In 2002, after seven years with Smith Barney, Ivax Pharmaceutical (now TEVA Pharmaceutical) approached him to help launch a newly approved Asthma drug, ProAir. Blair succeeded in this endeavor as well, allowing him to rise quickly within Ivax Pharmaceutical. In 2006, Novartis’ Biotech division recruited Blair to become a Xolair Product Specialist. During Blair’s career there, he outpaced his colleagues in the marketing, promotion and sales of Xolair, Novartis and Genentech’s highly acclaimed and most popular asthmatic biotech drug on the market today. And in 2010, Blair established a consulting firm that developed strategic messaging for companies. He created marketing platforms and advertising campaigns for clients in the casino and gaming industry, radiation treatment therapy and medical space.

Based on his overall professional achievements, the President of The Performance Institute, Mark Panciera, approached Adam to join the firm. He now works closely with Mark in developing new business, and implementing sales and marketing strategies.

Blair is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Meet Michael Manning - Project Director

A Project Director here at The Performance Institute, Michael Manning has a unique and storied professional history. He delivers real world experience and tactical knowledge to his clients in the form of expert understanding of organizational and people issues, and precise diagnosis of need. From there, Manning manages engagement implementation, facilitates effective change, and delivers on expectations.

Manning is a retired Lieutenant and 27-year veteran of the City of Miami Police Department. In 1983, he was shot in the line of duty during a gun battle with an armed home invasion robbery assailant. He attributed his survival to specialized training he received just four months prior, the very same training he now employs for clients of The Performance Institute. After recovering from the shooting, he transferred from patrol to the training division to share his experience and assist in the further development of the specialized program. Michael became a major contributor to the success of the Miami Police Department’s Officer Survival program which is still in operation today.

Manning has conducted research and trained thousands of officers in deadly force decision making and officer survival tactics from a multitude of agencies throughout South Florida as well as internationally. During the latter part of his career, he served in a number of leadership roles including Field Training Supervisor, Crisis Intervention Team Supervisor, and acting Patrol Commander until his service retirement in 2007.

Michael is a law enforcement consultant and a legally recognized expert on the use of deadly force, officer survival tactics and high liability risk assessments. Additionally, wanting to expand his horizons in the area of finance and investing, he obtained his state insurance license and federal securities license and maintains a successful financial services practice in Ft. Lauderdale.

He earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration along with a minor in Psychology from Florida International University. Michael is married to Susan and has two wonderful daughters who are both graduates of the University of South Florida.