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Perform Transform Research

The news headlines tell of slowing growth, market uncertainty & employee disengagement.

Yet, if you talk to most business leaders you will hear quiet confidence, ambition and even steely determination!  

This is the story that, with your help, we want to tell.  It is our most ambitious and exciting research project yet.

Growth, Performance and Transformation – these are the key topics emerging from our research with leaders.

It is a fascinating insight to what may be the most ambitious generation of leaders yet.

Massive ambition regarding strategy. A few niggling doubts concerning execution.

That winning combination sums up the key results of our research, encompassing 371 transformation initiatives, 129 project consolidations and 50 productivity drives.

Today’s leaders have massive ambition, also some niggling doubts.

Interestingly, our data suggests that this unlikely ‘ambition-doubt combo‘ is critical to success.

The post pandemic optimism was short-lived, being eroded by concerns of slowing growth, market uncertainty & employee disengagement. But how closely do the headlines reflect your reality?

We have been asking business leaders how their growth expectations have changed, how their organizations have adapted and what the key lessons have been. If you are a senior leader, we would like to hear your perspective too.

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There is an alternative reality to that of the internet headlines. It is of quiet confidence, ambition and steely determination. That is what we see among many business leaders at this time, but what about you?

How successfully has your organization adapted to the new market reality? Moreover, what is your level of ambition regarding the future? We need your help to ensure that the narrative better reflects your reality.

It is both easy and rewarding to participate, here is how it works:

You pick the time that suits you for a private & confidential 35 minute conversation via Zoom, Teams, etc.

The goal is to hear your perspectives on how your organization has adapted, as well as its future outlook.

The topics include today’s key business issues (e.g: productivity, engagement & disruption) – see the full list.

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It is a rewarding process – giving you time to think about the progress made & the journey ahead. See what people say.

The process is designed for busy C-suite leaders and led by an experienced business professional.

We will share the outputs with you as the research progresses. Sharing them with the wider business community later.

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Participating is a rewarding and enriching process – a genuine win-win:

What You Give:

30-35 minutes of your time

Your perspective, thoughts & learnings (see confidentiality)

Your insights (to be combined with others) as a means of offering support & encouragement to others

What You Get:

Time to think – reflect on the past & look to the future

Opportunity to connect with the key issues 

Privileged access to all the outputs of the research

An opportunity to shape the business narrative

  • The research is totally confidential.
  • No commercially sensitive information will be sought.
  • No video or audio recordings are made of the conversation.
  • All information will be aggregated with no names being used.

Here are the key themes emerging from the research:

While it is not easy, some leaders seem to be better able to balance the requirements of short term performance with the need for longer term transformation.

Our research aims to understand how they bridge the perform-transform gap especially at this time of slowing growth and increased uncertainty.

However, from early in our research, leaders highlighted another important gap.

That is the gap between the news headlines (of slowdown, uncertainty & disengagement) and the reality as experienced by leaders on the ground (of quiet ambition, confidence & determination).

Who is eligible to participate in the research?

Executives at the most senior levels are being asked to participate and to share their perspectives.  That includes leaders who are at the top of organizations, departments, business units or important strategic initiatives. We would love to include your perspectives if you are:

  • C Suite
  • Managing Director Level
  • Head of Strategy
  • Head of Operations
  • Head of Transformation.

Executives must have at least 100 people in their areas of responsibility.

Our research programme for 2023 and 2024 centers on engaging a panel of 50-75 senior leaders in a process of strategic reflection and ongoing strategic conversations regarding performance and transformation.

The objective is to gather rich qualitative information through strategic conversations with C-suite leaders, thereby providing new insight from those at the top.

Who will I be talking to (when I participate)?

The research conversation/interview will be conducted directly with John O Gorman or Ray Collis – both are experienced business coaches (to senior leaders and leadership teams internationally). Together John and Ray have written six books in the area of growth, performance and strategy.

 

John is an accredited leader coach & managing partner of Growth PitStop®. His passion is performance psychology, measuring and unlocking performance potential of senior leader teams and their strategic priorities or initiatives.

Ray coaches global remote teams driving product launches and other strategic initiatives in Pharma and Life sciences.  He leads the development of Pitstop Analytics™ platform (cloud-based data analytics and algorithm) used to identify millions of dollars of performance losses and potential gains globally.

Together John and Ray have written 6 books.

 

What is the scope of the research?

In the context of the present environment of market uncertainty and generally gloomy narrative (based on the headlines):

  • What is the outlook for growth?
  • How have organizations adapted to market change & uncertainty?
  • What are the key lessons learned in the process?
  • What is the reality regarding productivity and engagement (e.g. is Quiet Quitting as big the internet would suggest)?
  • What is the level of confidence and ambition regarding the future?

These issues are interesting in the context of any divergence between the Internet narrative and business reality. But they're also essential to understanding the most fundamental business challenge – that of balancing short term performance with the requirements of longer term transformation.

The hypothesis is that: Transformation and performance came closer during the pandemic (with such dramatic transformations as remote work and digitization). However, the present market environment (with pressure on short term performance) threatens to push them apart.  The present environment therefore has the potential to reinforce the age-old gap between strategy and execution.  A new way of thinking about that gap is required.

Is this just another research survey?

This research is different in at least 3 ways:

1. Goals – the goals are to illuminate the gap between:
(a) The narrative of slowdown, uncertainty and disengagement and the reality for most leaders.
(b) Strategies for performance and transformation (as traditionally applied within large organization)

2. Methodology

Today a lot of research involves completing an online questionnaire.  That often results in big headlines, but only a superficial understanding of what is really going on.

Our objective is to gain a deeper understanding of the reality for leaders at this time of change and uncertainty. By contrast our methodology involves face to face interviews (conducted via Zoom, Teams, etc.) with a carefully selected panel of senior business leaders.

3. Selectivity.  This research is aimed at hearing the voice of senior leaders – those at the top of organizations, departments, business units and major strategic initiatives. As the key decision makers, their voice is key.  Given their busyness, however, it is little heard.

 

What is the research methodology?

The research integrates the following methodologies:

  • Qualitative Research – detailed personal interviews aimed at gaining a deeper insight and understanding
  • Quantitative Research – numbers and data (captured by our online analytics)
  • Secondary research – review of published information sources
What is emerging from the research so far?

It is early days yet, but already some fascinating insights are emerging from our research. In particular, the need to look beyond the internet headlines and the message of slowing growth, uncertainty and disengagement.

Talking to leaders we are discovering that the reality is more encouraging & forward-looking, but it is also more complex & challenging too! The alternative headline might be:

In conversations with leaders to date, they don't appear to expect a return to normal soon.  Rather they see the future as the source of ongoing change and disruption.  Although performance is now center stage, transformation is going to be a continual requirement into the future.

Here is a sneak peak of key findings emerging from the research to date. The themes and topics emerging underpin the value of the research and spur us onwards in the process.

 

How will the research be shared?

For those who participate we will provide regular updates and outputs from the research as it progresses.

We are committed to making all our research as publicly available as possible.

Although it is early stages, there are initial plans for a book or ebook (later in 2023 or early 2024) called ‘Perform Transform' incorporating the key findings. Here is an early version of the artwork.

What is your research pedigree?

We are the authors of 6 books in the realm of business leadership, as well as 100s of research papers and insight pieces.

It is our commitment to make our research as widely available as possible.

As an analytics company, with big data algorithms and technologies, we know the difference between information and insight.  Moreover, we know the value of qualitative data – that which emerges from conversations and reflection.

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