There is a dichotomy to organisational achievements.
Organisation has ambitions it wants to achieve, i.e. its visions, goals, and strategic objectives.
The organisation achieves these through performance of their people.
It evaluates and rewards performance. The reward mechanisms and employees’ assumptions about it are known to create the undercurrents of culture.
The leaders, managers, and systems are geared up to manage and enhance performance.
Yes just like an organisation, people have ambitions too.
In its overemphasis and need for performance, does the organisation inadvertently overlook the need for ambition management?
Let’s begin with understanding the difference between ambition and performance.
Ambitions are aspirations you have for yourself and may be for your teams.
Performance is a result that you achieve towards the ambitions of your organisation.
Performance management systems completely overlook the role ambition plays in performance and makes a dangerous assumption that results need to be managed and rewarded. The assumption is dangerous because the result is an outcome in the first place of ones ambition — the overlooked factor.
Let’s look at two scenarios.
Most leaders within an organisation and therefore the teams of people are caught up in these two elements. Either they are over zealous and unsatisfied as a result of the first element, or they are in comfort zones and over settled in the second element. Neither is corrected through performance management.
The individual sum of performances is the current organisational result or output.
What if one was to view this differently?
Instead or facilitating performance, why would the leadership and structures not facilitate ambitions. Clearly one would find that the individual sum of ambitions would be a far higher level of organisation performance.
So why derive performance from organisational ambition. Why not derive organisational performance from individual ambitions?
That would create the entrepreneurial and forward looking thinkers that board rooms keep talking about but have little insight into creating them.
The role of leadership is restrictive when it views itself as managing and driving performance. The role of leader is far more fulfilling and complete when it will become about fulfilling and facilitating ambitions. That is when one creates 10X cultures.
Get rid of performance management systems. It is perhaps time to replace them with ambition facilitation ones.
That is where the magic lies. It ignites passions, creations, and innovations.
The PMS never made anyone happy!
Ambitions and creating paths to achieve ambitions — that’s energy and excitement right there. And it’s available to every organisation in abundance. They just don’t see it.