How Average People can be helped to be Stars

Transformation award winner calls for focus on performance support in key jobs
By: Adaptation
Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas
Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas
Dec. 10, 2012 - PRLog -- Painful restructuring and costly change initiatives may be unnecessary. Helping people in key roles to adopt the winning ways of superstars could enable most organisations to rapidly improve their performance according to University of Greenwich Professor Colin Coulson-Thomas. Speaking after winning an international Change Agent and Transformation Leader Award, the author of Winning Companies; Winning People called for greater focus upon supporting key jobs and enabling people to excel at important tasks that contribute directly to delivering priority objectives.

Coulson-Thomas contrasted the quick impacts and multiple benefits of providing better performance support with the indifferent results of many expensive, disruptive and time consuming attempts to periodically restructure or re-engineer processes: “Large sums are spent on mega projects to adopt and adapt standard processes that give little competitive advantage, when enabling key staff to emulate the approaches of high performers can deliver multiple returns on investment in a few months.”

Winning Companies; Winning People summarises investigations covering over 2,000 companies and over 500 professional firms that have identified critical success factors for activities that most impact upon corporate performance and what high performers do differently in these areas. It reveals a huge arena of opportunity for organisations to quickly and simultaneously obtain multiple benefits with their existing people, structures, cultures, technologies and processes.

Coulson-Thomas explains: “Even the small proportion of people in the top quartile of achievement are typically only very effective at less than half of the identified critical success factors. Providing better support for people in key jobs or critical tasks within processes can simultaneously increase understanding, boost performance, cut costs, speed up and bespoke responses, evidence compliance and reduce stress. It is more affordable, effective and quicker at producing results than widely used alternatives.”

A fellow speaker at a global convention at Lords cricket ground Lord Giddens believes “the world is out of control”. He could not recall a time when the future was so uncertain and every company was vulnerable to sudden shocks. Looking into the future and preparing longer-term plans can be problematic when one peers into a fog that conceals multiple, evolving and mutating challenges and opportunities.

In uncertain and dynamic situations periodic and costly re-engineering or re-structuring often presents unacceptable risks. Requirements and priorities can change during implementation and even if benefits result they may not outweigh the costs of implementation and disruption. While adopting generic processes may not differentiate, appropriate performance support can and does. It can help people to cope with situations as and when and wherever they arise.

The University of Greenwich professor suggests that “there is little point investing in a range of motivational, culture change and business process management activities while people undertake key tasks in a loosing way. Performance support can bring together everything someone in the front-line - or customers themselves - require to succeed. Incorporating only what is needed to deliver sought-after outcomes can reveal parts of organisations, processes and structures that may no longer be needed.”

Winning Companies; Winning People, making it easy for average performers to adopt winning behaviours, a 236 page book by Colin Coulson-Thomas which draws on over 20 research reports is published by Policy Publications and available from

ISBN 978-1-872980-72-0

Other Policy Publications titles by Coulson-Thomas include Developing Directors, a handbook for building an effective boardroom team and Talent Management 2 and Transforming Public Services setting out a more affordable route to high performance organisations.

About the Author and Award Winner:

Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas, vision holder of successful transformation programmes, has helped over 100 boards and management teams in many sectors and also reviewed the business development approaches of over 100 companies. The author of over 40 books and reports, he has held various board appointments and spoken at over 300 events in 40 countries. He can be contacted via

About the International Award

Colin Coulson-Thomas received his international Change Agent and Transformation Leader Award in Mumbai where he also gave a keynote presentation at a global forum on change management. The award was presented by Ministers of Education attending the World Education Conference. He was speaking at a global convention for business leaders at Lords cricket ground and a European conference in Aberdeen organised for the process excellence network.
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Tags:Transformation, Performance Support, Winning Companies, Winning People, Superstars
Industry:Business, Human resources
Location:Peterborough - Cambridgeshire - England
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