Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Improve Your “Tribe’s” Performance

Interestingly enough, focusing your organization’s “tribe” on your values can actually lead to higher levels of performance.  It makes sense when you think about it.

Imagine that an organization has clearly answered the questions “Why are we here? & What do we stand for?” – and that this is widely understood among the staff and key volunteers; your “tribe.”  Establishing those values gives people something to connect with that is beyond our own self interest.  This fulfills an important human need.  It also gives more meaning to our day-to-day work that enhances productivity.

This idea is underscored in an excellent book, Tribal Leadership, which studies the cultural features of high performance organizations.  FYI – a “tribe” is defined as any group of 20 – 150 people.  Recently, I had a chance to interview one of the book’s authors, Dr. Dave Logan, in connection with a presentation I am giving next week.  As we discussed Level Five “tribes” – those which are the highest performing – Dave said “Getting to Level Five is all about values.  People are trying to make a difference and to make a mark that is bigger than who they are as individuals.  They want to do something remarkable.”

Is your “tribe” clear on your organization’s values – why you exist and what you stand for?  This would be a great thing to check in on during your next staff meeting.  Figure out how to keep these values in the forefront of people’s minds.  The more connected everyone is to your purpose and values, the greater Mission Impact you will make.

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