Step back to strategise

John Cheney, chief executive of Workbooks.com, remarks that Beyond Performance, by Scott Keller and Colin Price, enables business leaders to step back and look at their business strategically.

John Cheney, chief executive of software company Workbooks.com, remarks that Beyond Performance, by Scott Keller and Colin Price, enables business leaders to step back and look at their business strategically. 

If you are a business owner or involved in leading change, Beyond Performance is designed for you. It examines what makes organisations successful, and provides a wealth of advice and examples on how to manage your organisation while, most importantly, measuring its performance and health.

Performance and health are the two key concepts of the book. The authors characterise performance as an organisation’s ability to deliver today, and health as the ability to deliver consistently over the long term. They argue that truly great businesses combine both traits.

There are two original and engaging tasks that Keller and Price undertake in this book. The first is to define nine elements of organisational health and suggest that an strengths and weaknesses in these areas determine effectiveness.

Secondly, the book walks you through a five-stage process (called the five As) to help build an organisation that performs effectively today but also has the ability to last over the longer term.

I found this book really well written and easy to follow, and it held my interest throughout. Its best quality is how it validates much of its philosophy with facts and figures from various studies.

But will it help you build a better business? I would say yes. As a business leader I think it is crucial to occasionally take a step back from the “day-to-day” and really think about your business strategically – management style, how you execute plans and your company culture. This book provides an effective framework to consider these issues and get you thinking.