Superperformance & Agility Distilled

Superperformance — as explained by Corpus Optima‘s (@CorpusOptima) Dave Guerra in Superperformance: New Profound Knowledge for Corporate Leaders — is “industry-outperforming return on investment sustained over time”, which is a new paradigm with an operational definition involving 1 simple formula and 8 simple rules.

Since posting Agility Distilled, many have inquired: How does Superperformance relate to Agility?

(click figure to enlarge)

Rule 1: Process x Culture = Superperformance

This rule (the superperformance formula) emphasizes that superperformance is the product of process and culture. Process is the physical dimension of an organization, the work of the organization, which involves systems, structures, methods, and strategy. Culture is the emotional dimension of an organization, the spirit of the organization, which involves commitment, values, engagement, and inspiration. Process and culture are polar-complements, that is, while they oppose each other, they need each other to constitute an outperforming whole (organization).

Rule 2: Superperformers Superperform Over Time

This rule emphasizes that superperformance involves sustainable industry-outperforming return on investment and not mere “flash performance”.

Rule 3: The paradigm shift of Superperformance is from Machine to Organism

This rule emphasizes that superperformance involves shifting from a Machine View of organizations to an Organism View of organizations. The Machine View considers an organization as an inanimate mechanism with no intrinsic purpose. The Organism View considers an organization a living organism. This fundamental shift involves appreciating Workers as Organelle; Teams as Cells; Departments, Division, and Groups as Organs; the Organization as an Organism; Industries as Species; and Economies as Ecosystems. Thus, superperformance relies on biological science to inform the transformation of process and complexity science to inform the liberation of culture.

Rule 4: Superperformance is produced by Supermanagement and Superleadership

This rule emphasizes that superperformance involves superleading and supermanaging. Supermanaging focuses on transforming and managing process, which involves order, predictability, and control of systems. Superleading focuses on liberating culture and leading people, which involves vision, influence, and inspiration.

Rule 5: Superperformance is Transformed Flow

This core rule emphasizes five management habits, which generally relate to the Results/Value-oriented pattern.

  • The habit of Focus: Ingraining constancy of purpose. This habit explicitly relates to the Focus aspect of the Results/Value-oriented pattern.
  • The habit of Continual Improvement: Applying Kaizen (always better).
  • The habit of Simplicity: Eliminating waste in all forms.
  • The habit of Project Management: Applying project management methods.
  • The habit of Pattern-Seeking: Thinking systemically and thinking statistically.

This is the essence of transforming and managing process.

Rule 6: Superperformance is Unleashed Passion

This core rule emphasizes five leadership habits, which generally relate to the Context-aware pattern and the People/Team-centric pattern.

  • The habit of Inspiration: Engaging everyone in a felt cause. This habit explicitly relates to the Lead aspect of the Context-aware pattern.
  • The habit of Empowerment: Awakening desire and unleashing superheroes. This habit explcitily relates to the Empower aspect of the People/Team-centric pattern.
  • The habit of Empathy: Fostering emotionally intelligent interactions.
  • The habit of Creativity: Being open to novelty and change.
  • The habit of Integrity: Instilling evergreen values and insisting on transparent behavior.

This is the essence of liberating culture and leading people.

Rule 7: Superperformance requires Metamorphosis

This rule emphasizes that superperformance requires transformation. This is not mere patchwork on the current system, but a change so fundamental that something new is created, which involves simultaneous experience of chaos and order as the existing system gives way to the new system.

Rule 8: Superperformers Oscillate to Continue Superperforming

This rule emphasizes the need to oscillate between process and culture to maintain optimum fitness indefinitely.

Visit Corpus Optima for more on Superperformance!

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Superperformance & Agility Distilled

  1. Brilliant and a major contribution! Thanks for this deeper explication. Today’s organizations better be Agile if they want to stay around. An indespensable part of the new, new language of optimization and Superperforming.

  2. I completely agree with the eight rules. Unless the culture expands across the organization the best one can hope for are isolated pockets of superperformance. I would seem to me that one of the greatest challenges is consistently meeting the requirements of ALL eight rules, because the greatest performance will occur when ALL of the rules are consistently adhered to.

  3. Great contribution Si.
    It’s no surprise how well these rules align to agile patterns you introduced me to. To experience and be part of a transformation to superperformance is a life changing event. These rules just provide more evidence and support to values and pragmatic practices you have been sharing with clients for a very long time.
    Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s