How do you build a high performance culture? This is actually a result and you must look at what is underneath this in order to achieve it.
When you work on certain building blocks, you will begin to see that other cultural elements will fall into place easily and naturally.
Eventually this leads to a state of flow and you will find yourself and your business in the upward spiral of expansion, joy, passion, excitement, higher productivity, and higher profits, as well as making a bigger impact.
When you have reached this state of flow on an organizational level, things happen in an accelerated manner. This is simply a high performance culture.
Many different areas have their own name referring to this state of flow. In music, they say “in the groove.” With sports, it is called being “in the zone.” In Buddhism, you will hear “being one with things,” and when you are around professional poker players, they say “playing the A-game.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a noted psychology professor and author of several books, is most well known for his notion of flow, with years of research and writing about this topic. Flow is simply defined as a type of happiness in which someone loses their sense of time, self-consciousness, and even self.
In order to achieve flow, Csikszentmihalyi lays out the following eight conditions:
- Goals are clear
- Feedback is immediate
- A balance between opportunity and capacity
- Concentration deepens
- The present is what matters
- Control is no problem
- The sense of time is altered
- The loss of ego
When these conditions are met, you can reach the state of flow. The purpose of describing flow in such depth is because you reach optimal productivity in this state. This is important for companies to realize and to work toward allowing employees the environment and opportunity to be as productive as possible.
When you begin to have key elements in place—like the right environment, the right state of mind, the excitement and focus—you can reach a state of flow individually… and this can also happen within an organization. Organizational flow acts as an accelerator within the business. Similar to building a house, it is important to have a solid foundation within an organization.
What we have found over the years of working with cultural engagement is that in order to reach a high performance culture, you need to:
- work actively and strategically with the culture, setting systems into place
- have a clearly defined bigger purpose that resonates with employees and customers
- have a very strong foundation of trust
These three areas lay a very strong foundation that will help you recruit the top talent you need, retain your employees, and create a culture where people will get into flow and give you the results you want to see.
Progressive leaders understand this. They inspire their teams to consistently take action to improve and develop, and they inspire their entire organization to be a part of the company’s journey to success. So rather than just pushing or demanding to have a high performance culture, make sure that you have the strong foundation in order to achieve that first.