I know it is only a few letters.
But like many things a small change can make a big difference.
Leaders have been obsessed with high performance.
There are high performance teams and individuals.
There are 2 big problems with this mindset:
1. It sets a natural ceiling on achievement.
After high performance what next?
Super high performance?
2. The focus is only on these teams or individuals.
All the training, coaching, mentoring is given to these small groups of people.
Now to be sure they need to be nurtured, developed and retained.
But what about everyone else?
Leaders need to shift their mindset.
It’s higher not just high performance that should be the goal.
Higher performance in say productivity, innovation and employee engagement.
This insight has been used in the sporting arena for years.
When the 4 minute mile was broken this became the new benchmark.
Roger Bannister did it first on May 6, 1954, and John Landy followed 46 days later.
By the end of the 20th century, the record had been lowered to the time of 3:43.13 run by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco in 1999 (Wikipedia).
And this record was lowered in small increments.
Imagine if we followed the leaders mindset and accepted the 4 minute mile as a high performance.
It would have stayed the same.
There is another key learning here.
Higher performance rarely comes in big bursts.
It emerges from a continuous process of trying to make small improvements.
In short — higher performance in individuals and teams is the end result of a series of small steps, changes or wins.