Nov. 15, 2006 – The achievements of average performers can be transformed according to Colin Coulson-Thomas, author of ‘Winning Companies: Winning People’. Opening the annual conference of the Institute of Management Consultants in London the University of Lincoln Professor reports that “Pioneers are building critical success factors into key processes and helping people to adopt the approaches of high performers. Superstars simply do the right things in a winning way.”
But what are the right things and winning ways? Coulson-Thomas’ research programme examines why some people are so much more effective than others at undertaking equivalent tasks in similar circumstances? Areas examined include competitive bidding, building customer relationships, pricing, purchasing and creating and exploiting know-how.
The Professor explains: “We have identified critical success factors for a range of important activities. Because most of them are attitudinal and behavioural we have also distinguished the approaches of high performers or winners from those of low achieving losers.” The findings are summarised in Coulson-Thomas’ new book: ‘Winning Companies: Winning People’*.
Coulson-Thomas reveals: “Companies that excel at certain activities usually perform badly at others. Were most companies to adopt winning ways in all the areas we have looked at overall productivity would increase in leaps and bounds.”
Money and management time is spent on many activities that do not relate to critical success factors for competing and winning. Coulson-Thomas reports: “Almost every company visited was devoting considerable resources to initiatives that are likely to make little if any difference to outcomes achieved.”
According to Coulson-Thomas, “Many companies do not appear to be aware of either the critical success factors for certain activities or successful approaches to them. Most companies are poor judges of their relative performance in the areas examined and unaware of why they are not more successful.”
Coulson-Thomas found: “Most companies are not aware of who their superstars are in key areas. They are also oblivious to relatively simple and cost effective ways of enabling others to emulate the achievements of high performers.”
Training invariably focuses on what people are not good at. Coulson-Thomas finds: “People are encouraged to address weaknesses and concentrate upon activities they do not enjoy, rather than build upon their strengths and do what they enjoy doing and do best.”
Company wide programmes often force the adoption of corporate practices by people whose own approaches would have been more successful. Coulson-Thomas finds: “Invariably someone has a better approach than the one in the corporate manual.”
There are huge opportunities for improvement. Coulson-Thomas reveals: “Every company in the research programme could boost its overall performance by building more critical success factors into certain processes and adopting more winning approaches in areas of under achievement.”
The Winning Companies: Winning People investigation is ‘good news’ for those who would like to raise their game. Critical success factors for important areas such as winning new and repeat business have been identified. Because most of them are attitudinal and behavioural they can be quickly adopted.
According to Coulson-Thomas, “Consultants should get their heads around the identified success factors and help companies to focus upon them. Winning behaviours should be introduced where required.”
Coulson-Thomas believes: “Winning and losing approaches can be clearly distinguished. The former can be emulated and the latter avoided. Performance can be transformed to deliver commercial success for organisations and both financial rewards and personal satisfaction for individuals.”
*‘Winning Companies: Winning People, the differing approaches of winners and losers’ by Colin Coulson-Thomas can be ordered from Kingsham Press: Tel. +44 (0)1243 779378; Fax. +44 (0)1243 779078; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on-line from www.akdpress.com; www.cotoco.com; or www.wpm-group.com
Details of reports presenting critical success factors and winning ways identified by the Winning Companies: Winning People research programme and related bespoke benchmarking reports can be obtained from Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas by Tel: + 44 (0) 1733 361 149; Fax: + 44 (0) 1733 361 459; and via www.coulson-thomas.com or from www.ntwkfirm.com/policy-publications/
Colin Coulson-Thomas, Professor of Direction and Leadership at Lincoln Business School has helped over 100 companies to improve performance, advised over 100 companies on business development and spoken at over 200 major events in some 30 countries. Colin can be contacted by Tel: + 44 (0) 1733 361 149; Fax: + 44 (0) 1733 361 459; or via www.coulson-thomas.com
— End —