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“New leadership” and creating the high performance organisation: part 1

“New leadership” and creating the high performance organisation: part 1

Coulson-Thomas, Colin (2013) “New leadership” and creating the high performance organisation: part 1. Industrial and Commercial Training, 45 (1). pp. 23-31. ISSN 0019-7858 (doi:

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Purpose – In some respects traditional leadership is not working. The aim of this two-part paper is to summarise key findings of a five year investigation into quicker and more affordable routes to creating high performance organisations. It identifies some aspects of the “new leadership” that is required and how the strategic adoption of performance support can facilitate the changes required and deliver multiple objectives. This first part introduces “new leadership” and performance support.

Design/methodology/approach – A programme of critical success factor, “issue” and other surveys was complemented with a five year evaluation of more recent case studies to understand early adoptions of performance support and to assess their results and implications. The applications examined were discussed with the relevant technical architect and the results obtained corroborated with commissioner/user performance data and/or documented assessments/reactions.

Findings – “New leadership” is less about “top-down” leading and more about providing “bottom-up” support, particularly of those who contribute to key corporate objectives. It requires a different balance and focus in a number of areas and can be facilitated by the strategic adoption of performance support which can deliver multiple benefits and offers a quicker and more affordable route to the high performance organisation.

Research limitations/implications – Further investigation is required of the implications of the findings for people and organisations.

Practical implications – A cheaper and more cost-effective alternative to expensive, lengthy and disruptive change and transformation programmes has been demonstrated which can deliver essential elements of “new leadership”, boost performance, cut costs, reduce risks and stress, ensure compliance and generate high returns on investment. Despite its advantages the more widespread adoption of “new leadership” and performance support might require a re-energising of corporate boards.

Social implications – There is potential for making difficult jobs easier and less stressful for many people.

Originality/value – The paper summarises the main findings of an investigation that has identified a requirement for “new leadership” and an approach which if strategically adopted can facilitate its introduction. Important aspects of the shift of emphasis and focus required by “new leadership” are identified, along with the central contribution that performance support can make to its beneficial adoption.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Research paper. Part 2 published as: Colin Coulson-Thomas (2013), “New leadership” and creating the high performance organisation: part 2, Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 45 No. 2, pp.92 – 98.
Uncontrolled Keywords: “bottom-up” leadership, “new leadership”, “top-down” leadership, high performance organisations, leadership, performance management, performance support, talent management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:24

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