Follow Through

Here is summary of a tale I will tell in a not too distant future, about a time in the past – It was the best of performance indicators, it was the worst of leadership.

I have seen really bad leadership in my day, and there is no better place to see bad leadership than in an Organisation with a poor reputation. When reputation is gone, there are many paths to regaining it, the easiest being delivering results, at any cost. Focus on the words – at any cost. Usually, the first cost is people. It is easier to pin the blame of a poor reputation on the quality of people that are part of the system, it is also the lazier approach.

Try the HPO model. Learning and applying HPO, which is an acronym for High Performance Organisation, gave me a paradigm shift. The whole of the HPO model is summarized in one quote – 

“All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get” – Arthur Jones

It is hard work to analyze an Organisation, determine the parts that promote the current results and propose the tweaks necessary to guarantee future desired results. 

However, after being part of the process, what was most interesting is the fact that people can be really honest about what is wrong, know what needs to be done, choose not to do it, and then turn around to blame the victims. 

It is interesting because the same behaviours play out in healthy life choices and sound financial decision making. Like in Organisations, when poor health or penury comes knocking at the door of the individual, the individual blames his or her “village people”. Their own progenitors.

The output of a good HPO model implementation can feel like a success in its own right, and deceive the easily pleased into thinking something has been achieved. Actually, nothing is achieved without a follow through.

Like all good swings, your follow through must be even better than your strike. Whether it is in tennis, golf or business, what truly distinguishes different plays, is the follow through. 

On the framework to drive meaningful change, I offer a summary of the HPO Model in the below matrix, as this is how I remember the purpose of the model. If your Organisation is in need of a step change (a great swing), I recommend applying the HPO Model. Get a mentor to guide you on the journey. Maybe the MBA consultants might finally have their use. 

But the real work will lie in your follow through.


– Osasu Oviawe

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