Achieving High Performance Cultures


Everyone wants a high performance culture. Here’s why it matters. Research shows that high performance organizations have a 14% job turnover rate compared to 48% as seen in low performance organizations. 

Throughout nearly 20 years of management consulting, I’ve completed over 100 organizational assessments of companies ranging from startups like Yodel and Vimeo to great enterprises like Consumer Report and Amazon. These assessments revealed the reasons why companies struggle to attain high performance cultures. Additionally, these evaluations highlighted how investments in team culture enabled transformation into successful enterprises. 

The key message is that high performance cultures require what we refer to as “10x teams.” Success of 10x teams is not the result of a secret formula. Rather, it’s based on an approach that can be consistently repeated.

That said, one of the main roadblocks to developing 10x teams is the process itself. Furthermore, the obsession with process. There is a preconceived notion that adoption of a process, whether it be agile development, safe or lean mindset, or some other process, will solve every problem. Not so. 

Working with my clients has illustrated that it is the convergence of people, culture, process and business structure that spurs the magic. Ultimately, it is this convergence that creates 10x teams and high performance cultures. The adoption of key practices accelerates performance improvement. These practices include pulling group members together, propelling groups into action, encouraging groups to push boundaries as a team so that they can achieve an increasingly greater impact together over time.

Off-the-shelf processes for 10x team transformation simply do not exist. Bespoke processes must be developed based on your people, culture, org structure, geography and so on. Efforts to design a process in the absence of these factors typically have the reverse effect: your business will slow down and you typically will not achieve the desired outcome. Additionally, unintended consequences include expectations for a transformed culture which is unattainable with a vanilla approach. Confusion and dissatisfaction often result.

Without a doubt, based on my experience, adopting a generic process that does not factor in the aspects unique to your business is the number one reason teams are prevented from becoming 10x. Another important consideration is that team transformations are dynamic processes which are either cumulatively additive or negative. Given that the long-term goal is a sustainable culture, continuous adaptation is required to keep your teams and company moving in the right direction. 

I’m curious. How has process limited your organization from growing and what barriers have you come across along the way? Share your thoughts with @GetInRhythm or on the InRhythmU blog.

Thanks and Keep Growing,

Gunjan Doshi

CEO, InRhythm