The establishment and management of a high performance culture within organisations

Garner, Thomas (2004-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Some digitised pages may appear illegible due to the condition of the original hard copy


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Performance in the Marketplace is what business is all about. Organisations are measured by their results and their stock exchange prices reflect their performance and the perception that the market has of them. The acronym 'Look at the Score board' is heard in passages of every organisation doing business in the market place. The question is: How can any organisation perform while looking at the scoreboard? Relate it to tennis players. How would tennis players perform if instead of keeping both eyes on the ball, they always had one eye on the scoreboard? In sports they talk of being in the zone. The harder athletes try to win, the less likely it becomes that they will. When people are in their zone, all of their attention is on what they are doing, and not on what they are accomplishing. Results then flow from their focus. Many organisations only watch the scoreboard - the bottom line. In doing so they take their eyes off the ball - their relationships with people. This gets them out of their zone and leads to long-term disaster. When organisations keep their eye consistently on the ball, operating their businesses by aligning with their core values, the scoreboard does in fact take care of itself. The research problem as addressed by this study is that of: 'how does an organisation change to become value based and how does an organisation use its values as a base to create a high performance culture within the organisation?' The study is a case study and the organisation used is Grootegeluk Coal Mine, a business unit of KUMBA Resources. The main objective of the study is to investigate the critical success factors for the establishment and management of a high-performance culture within organisations. The role of leadership in the establishment and management of a collaborative environment to ensure commitment and creativity and as a result a sustainable performance culture is investigated in depth. The field of leadership principles was researched and it was found that the conditions, which serve to minimise interference with potential so that it might be more fully expressed in performance, are conditions that encourage collaboration, commitment and creativity. The system is based on the Competence theory. Collaboration is a way for people to work together which requires, by definition, the fullest exploration and identification of their various resources. Such a process increases the number of ideas and amount of information available for planning and making work related decisions. Collaboration is the leader's primary strategy for acknowledging love and work together so that both may be served. It is a means to identifying a" the possibilities. The human desire for productive love, labouring to make something grow, reflects the hunger for commitment. People want to be committed, it is a natural state, which must be realised for people to prosper and be healthy. Commitment is always the result of something; it is a by-product of one's opportunities to experience self-expression and, while often given difficult birth, it is easily lost unless attention is given to its maintenance and care. The seeds of commitment may be sewn through opportunities as in collaborative exchanges, but for its potential to be fully realised, promises must be kept and expectations must be met. Creative power is the first cause of all behaviour, and the basic human instinct for self-realisation, completion and perfection is the driving force of life itself. The principle of creativity simply reflects the grand theme, the nature of people at work. The urge and capacity for creativity are part and parcel of the human condition. The potential of high performance is at hand in organisations and may manifest when the leaders are guided by the principle of creativity. The essential characteristics of the work environment necessary for the release of potential are conditions that encourage: collaboration, commitment and creativity. Workers have little control over such conditions. Leaders, therefore, determine organisational performance because they create - or fail to create - the environmental conditions which minimise interference with available potential. This means that leaders desiring high performance must make sure that collaboration, commitment, and creativity - the conditions in support of competence and its release - are present in their organisation. It is possible to measure the dimensions of collaboration, commitment, and creativity within an organisation through the technique of Organisation culture analysis. Leadership Systems International has studied the relationship of such conditions to performance. In one study high-performing organisations were compared with low-performing organisations and, in every case, it was found that high-performing organisations can be characterised by significantly greater support for collaboration, commitment, and creativity than were lowperforming parts of the same organisations. The major conclusion from this research is that performance varies as conditions for competence vary. Therefore, for those concerned about quality and productivity, the implications are clear: For people to perform well, to do their best, they must be provided with an organisational environment that releases their potential by supporting their natural capacity and need for doing what needs to be done, for working productively. The Organisation culture analysis that was used on Grootegeluk Mine indicates that, despite the improvement in culture, a gap still exist between the Grootegeluk culture and that of the average of benchmarked organisations in South Africa. The policies and practices of the Grootegeluk organisation fall into the quasi-collaboration, quasi-commitment and quasi-creativity range. This means that the value structure, information flow, personal practices of managers and climate combine to encourage but does not facilitate attempts to collaborate and that power dynamics, incentive structures, and work relationships are managed in ways that encourage but fail to facilitate the development of widespread commitment. This also means that the work environment, social dynamics, and problem solving processes are managed in ways that encourage but does not facilitate attempts at creativity. The Organisation culture analysis indicates that the Grootegeluk management needs to make a profound leadership impact to ensure success. It must be remembered that a high-performance culture is part of a broader process of continuous improvement. People are only one part in this model, but people are the enablers, ensuring that the processes and technology changes through creativity. The recommendation is for the Grootegeluk Management to use the current performance culture base to build on a new high-performance culture whereby the organisation can change itself from the current quasicollaborative, quasi-committed and quasi-creative organisation to an organisation where these competence factors are world best. This will ensure that Grootegeluk becomes an organisation that will be able to withstand future storms and an organisation that will outperform the mining and minerals sector.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die hoofdoel van besigheid is om te presteer. Organisasies word gemeet aan die resultate wat hulle vir beleggers gee. Die gesegde vergelyk dit met sport wanneer daar verwys word na die telbord. Die vraag is, hoe kan enige organisasie presteer deur die telbord dop te hou? Vergelyk dit met 'n tennisspeler. Hoe kan 'n tennisspeler presteer deur die telbord dop te hou en nie die oog op die bal te hou nie. Daar word gepraat van 'n sportman wat gemaklik is, en dan presteer. Indien atlete nie gemaklik is nie, kan hulle nie fokus op wat hulle doen nie, en as gevolg daarvan nie presteer nie. Baie organisasies fokus nie op wat hulle doen en hoe hulle dit doen nie, maar op die telbord - hulle resultate. Dit het tot gevolg dat organisasies hulle oog van die bal - hulle verhoudings met hulle werknemers - afhaal. Dit het negatiewe langtermyn gevolge. Wanneer organisasies hulle besigheid belyn met hulle waardestelsel, sorg die telbord vir homself. Die studie ondersoek die vraag: Hoe verander 'n organisasie na 'n waardestelsel gedrewe organisasie en hoe gebruik so 'n organisasie sy waardestelselom 'n prestasiekultuur te vestig? Die studie is 'n gevallestudie van KUMBA Resources se Grootegeluk Steenkoolmyn naby Lephalale. Die hoofdoel met die studie is om die kritiese suksesfaktore vir die vestiging van 'n prestasiekultuur te bepaal. Die rol van leierskap in die proses van hierdie kultuurvesting word bestudeer. Die studie ondersoek spesifiek die Jay Hall teorie van samewerking, toewyding en kreatiwiteit. Hierdie teorie is in diepte bestudeer en daar is bevind dat omstandighede wat inmenging in potensiaal mimimeer, juis samewerking, toewyding en kreatiwiteit maksimeer. Samewerking is in hierdie geval 'n proses wat werknemers dwing om ten diepste te delf in hulle hulpbronne om alle moontlike idees te ondersoek. Toewyding word in hierdie geval gedefinieer as die behoefte om produktief te werk en iets te laat groei uit daardie werk. Kreatiwiteit is die oorsprong van gedrag. Die beginsel van kreatiwiteit is gewoon die natuur van die mens wat werk. Die behoefte om te presteer is dus deel van die mens se natuur en die potensiaal van prestasie is dus deel van enige organisasie en behoort te manifesteer indien die leiers deur die beginsel van kreatiwiteit gelei word. Die beginsels van samewerking, toewyding en kreatiwiteit is nodig om prestasie aan te wakker. Werknemers het egter min beheer oor hierdie omgewingsfaktore terwyl leiers oor die sleutels beskik om die faktore te maksimeer. Dit is moontlik om hierdie omgewingsfaktore te meet. Die metings word deur Leadership Systems International gedoen en is gebaseer op navorsing wat hulle deurlopend doen. Die navorsing wys dat organisasies wat presteer in elke geval beter in die faktore van samewerking, toewyding en kreatiwiteit presteer. Dit wys dat mense beter presteer in 'n omgewing waar hulle potensiaal benut word deur inmenging te minimeer. Die meting op Grootegeluk Myn wys dat ten spyte van 'n verbetering in die organisasie kultuur, daar steeds 'n gaping bestaan indien die organisasie met 'n gemiddelde van ander organisasies in Suid Afrika vergelyk word. Die omgewingsfaktore van samewerking, toewyding en kreatiwiteit ondersteun wel prestasie, maar fasiliteer dit nie. Die studie wys dat die Grootegeluk Bestuurspan 'n groot leierskapsimpak moet maak om verdere sukses in prestasieverbetering te behaal. Die aanbeveling van die studie is dat die huidige prestasie basis en - kultuur gebruik moet word as basis om verder uit te bou aan die faktore van samewerking, toewyding en kreatiwiteit. Dit sal verseker dat Grootegeluk toekomstige storms sal afweer en dat die organisasie beter as die mynbou en minerale sektor sal presteer.

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