Breakthrough Performance: Aiming for Something Beyond the Predictable

Blog Post Breakthrough Results

Breakthrough Performance often begins with an inspiring commitment to extraordinary outcomes.

What does it really mean to commit to a “breakthrough” outcome?

This kind of goal has at least two of the following characteristics:

  • It emanates from a commitment to an outcome that is not predictable based on past performance
  • The pathway to its realization is not clear at the outset
  • It inspires the very best in people, teams and organizations

What breakthrough commitments are you aware of that have had these characteristics? Who has made them?

Inspiration and aligned upon visions and goals spark breakthrough performance.

Leadership that sets up the circumstances for inspiration is a gift to your people—and it is an art. Once it is in place, it will call forth their best creativity, effort, and outcomes.

A good place to start building such circumstances is through uplifting visions and goals that others in the company participate fully in creating.

Building this kind of environment for breakthrough performance will inspire, motivate, and challenge you and your team.

Sodexo Group, a multinational food services and facilities management corporation based in Paris, is on a journey to build such an environment; one that inspires breakthrough performance.

CEO, Michael Landel, is leading the way, in partnership with his colleagues. They are committed to establishing a culture dedicated to enlivening the world by touching others.

Landel and his colleagues created a plan and goals for their organization, whose 428,000 employees serve 75 million consumers. Some of their core tenets are:

  • Business integrity
  • Human rights
  • Diversity and inclusion

Aiming high provides a sense of purpose and inspiration for breakthrough performance at this global company:

Our purpose is to provide a better quality of life for our customers and their customers,” says Landel. The purpose needs to be woven through the fabric of the activities of the organization, and to do it well, will take time. (Insigniam Quarterly, Summer 2014)

So far, this journey is producing both an inspired work place and strong numbers. Sodexo saw profits rise by 11.4% in the first half of fiscal 2014.

Of course small dreams and visions for the future don’t inspire anyone. Yet, if they are too large they can be viewed as pipe dreams and people will write them off as not achievable.

As Sodexo is demonstrating, if you aim for a kind of “sweet spot” in between the two extremes, the conversations will actually inspire people to action. Although there may be numerical measures, these alone will not touch people.

Such a journey toward breakthrough performance begins with the art of engaged and creative thinking for the future. This then needs to be followed by a consistency of messaging as the goals are woven throughout the conversations of the organization, especially during the movement from implementation to realization.

What unprecedented vision and goals are you committed to for 2015?

 

Discussion