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Accelerating Performance summary

Colin Price & Sharon Toye

How Organizations Can Mobilize, Execute, and Transform with Agility

3.6 (16 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Accelerating Performance by Colin Price and Sharon Toye provides a practical guide to achieving high performance in organizations. It offers strategies and tools to drive change, improve leadership effectiveness, and create a culture of continuous improvement.

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    Accelerating Performance
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    Navigating success with the META mindset

    In a rapidly changing world, we’re confronted with the urgent need to revamp our approach to managing organizations. Sadly, the tools we've previously employed to navigate these turbulent waters haven't adequately addressed the challenges at hand, leaving us stuck in repeating cycles of failure. The call to action here? We need to reimagine our management philosophy, acknowledging that what we often dismiss as the “soft stuff” like culture, relationships, and shared vision can sometimes be the hardest to get right.

    The first step in this transformational journey is a shift in mindset, a paradigm the authors term as META: Mobilize, Execute, and Transform with Agility. This method helps companies steer clear of the all-too-common trap of blindly chasing speed, which is often a deceptive catchphrase among leaders. 

    Paradoxically, this can also lead to what the authors call an acceleration trap, which can actually slow the pace. What’s more is that, in the quest for disruptive business models, companies often overlook the more substantial opportunities in their existing markets – sometimes, the next big thing might be right under our noses, and within the confines of our current operations.

    To illustrate the power of META, let's look at Nets Holding, a Scandinavian payments processor. Just a few years ago, Nets was struggling with declining revenues. Today, it's growing organically at an impressive rate, thanks to principles derived from META. 

    First, the company decided to mobilize, the “M” in META. They pursued an exhaustive understanding of their market, customers, competitors, and profitability. This thorough comprehension acted as the foundation for their acceleration.

    Next, they executed. They attained alignment among the top team quickly, partly by onboarding new talent for roles that demanded swift action. This step also involved aggressively pursuing quick wins to build momentum and free up resources for strategic pursuits.

    Following execution, they chose to transform. They didn't shy away from addressing operational issues that required immediate resolution, which meant changing old practices and introducing new, more efficient ones.

    Lastly, they did all these with agility, meaning they remained flexible and responsive to any changes in their market, adjusting their strategies and approaches as needed.

    The result of this META journey? A significant increase in profitability and a rejuvenated organization.

    The journey toward META wasn't easy. It began with studying the management practices of hundreds of leading companies. It continued with carrying out surveys and having conversations with global leaders. They even looked into data from thousands of teams and reviewed countless executive assessments. This painstaking process was driven by the commitment to a data-driven approach to management. While the research journey in itself may not make a riveting story, it certainly offers invaluable insights into the inner workings of successful organizations.

    So here's the big picture: If you want to revolutionize the performance of your organization, you have to pay attention to the seemingly soft stuff. Adopt a META mindset – and remember, change might be hard, but stagnation is fatal.

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    What is Accelerating Performance about?

    Accelerating Performance (2017) dives deep into the META framework, a cutting-edge approach for businesses navigating rapid change. Discover essential skills like ripple intelligence and liquid leadership, and learn how to foster a culture that balances speed with strategy. Through gripping case studies and fresh insights, you'll grasp how to unlock your organization's full potential and fuel sustainable growth.

    Accelerating Performance Review

    Accelerating Performance (2017) offers a comprehensive guide on improving organizational performance by unlocking the power of human potential. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • With its rigorous research and practical advice, it equips leaders with actionable strategies to drive performance and achieve outstanding results.
    • Presenting compelling case studies and real-world examples, the book illustrates how organizations can create a high-performance culture that fosters innovation and growth.
    • By exploring the interplay between leadership, culture, and performance, the book provides a fresh perspective and valuable insights that challenge conventional thinking.

    Who should read Accelerating Performance?

    • Business leaders seeking to drive organizational growth and agility
    • Aspiring entrepreneurs aiming for strategic excellence
    • Management consultants looking for innovative business insights

    About the Author

    Colin Price is the Group Chief Operating Officer at Quintet Private Bank. Other titles of his include Beyond Performance, co-authored with Scott Keller.

    Sharon Toye is a strategic advisor at Quintet Private Bank, and a former partner at Heidrick & Struggles. Her publications have appeared in outlets including Business Strategy Review and Managerial Forensics.

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    Accelerating Performance FAQs 

    What is the main message of Accelerating Performance?

    The main message of Accelerating Performance is that organizations can achieve high performance by focusing on a few key levers.

    How long does it take to read Accelerating Performance?

    Reading Accelerating Performance takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Accelerating Performance a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Accelerating Performance is worth reading for its practical insights and actionable strategies to drive performance. Highly recommended!

    Who is the author of Accelerating Performance?

    The authors of Accelerating Performance are Colin Price and Sharon Toye.

    What to read after Accelerating Performance?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Accelerating Performance, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • 7 Powers by Hamilton Helmer
    • Surrounded by Narcissists by Thomas Erikson
    • Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO by Beverly E. Jones
    • How Big Things Get Done by Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner
    • The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker