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Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage Hardcover

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Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage + The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118024621
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118024621
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'a robust tool of measurement...thorough and clear' CPO Agenda


"Beyond Performance is a gem – it is evidence-based, emotionally compelling, and relentlessly useful. If you want to create a team or organization that enjoys sustained financial performance—and where people love to work—this delightful book is for you."
Robert Sutton, Stanford Professor and author of Good Boss, Bad Boss

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Customer Reviews

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Even still, reading this end to end was on of the best uses of my time in a long while.
Marc Singer
Additionally, Beyond Performance provides insights to the role of organization leaders in fostering ongoing performance excellence.
Nathan Ives
They give examples of each frame in action, showing how various companies put these concepts into action.
John Chancellor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John Chancellor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The pace of change in all aspects of our lives is increasing faster than ever. In order to just stay even, businesses, governments and non-profits must become more agile, more adaptable - in short they must accomplish one of the more difficult feats for large organizations - change.

Most change initiatives do not achieve the lofty goals they set out to accomplish. According to the authors, "When change programs fail, it's more often than not down to unproductive management behavior, unhelpful employee attitudes, or both."

But as Scott Keller and Colin Price, the authors, point out, it is not just change in operational efficiency which matters. Change focused on some narrow segment of performance only works in the short term and generally at a very high cost in terms of employee morale.

The authors based on very extensive research carried out over a multi-year period have developed a blue print for change that really works. There is equal emphasis on operational performance and the soft-side of business or what they call health. According to their research, "roughly 50 percent of performance variation between companies is accounted for by differences in organizational health."

In Part I of the book the authors advance the overall premise of the book. That sustained excellence is achieved by paying close attention to performance and health. When seeking to bring about change in any organization, you must focus on both performance and health. The authors have identified five questions which must be answered to bring about desired change.

They have grouped the questions under the following headings:
Aspire: Where do we want to go?
Assess: How ready are we to go there?
Architect: What do we need to do to get there?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Webster on April 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is like so many business books - it has one really good idea which is explained in the first few sections and much of the rest of the book is padding.
There is serious research behind the book, which is similar in theme to 'In Search of Excellence' - review key 'good/great companies and distil what they do to come up with a formula for success. And so the authors does........... The formula is more sophisticated than the 30 year old In Search of Excellence, and does emphasise the human element of high performance. If you have not read one of these sorts of book before, this one is better than many.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daria Steigman on January 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In Beyond Performance, co-authors Scott Keller and Colin Price argue that:

"Performance-focused leaders invest heavily in those things that enable targets to be met quarter by quarter, year by year. What they tend to neglect, however, are investments in company health--investments in the organization that need to be made today in order to survive and thrive tomorrow."

The authors go on to define organizational health as "a company's ability to align, execute, and renew itself faster than the competition." They use the analogy of a world-class athlete: it's not enough to set performance goals and have a training plan, you also have to monitor and manage your health (diet, fitness, blood pressure, body fat, and so forth) to achieve peak performance into the future.

Selling people on long-term organizational health over short-term profits can be a hard sell. Keller and Price tackle this head on by packing their book with extensive research and a wide range of real-world examples. But that's also what makes Beyond Performance hard to read.

The best business books both educate you and give you a concrete roadmap to applying that knowledge in your own organization. This isn't, however, a book you can just pick up and browse. You have to work hard to map out what the authors are teaching you. Implementing wholesale change is tough, and I would have liked to have seen takeaways, worksheets, and other business tools to give the reader a better starting point for figuring out how to dig in.
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Format: Hardcover
Scott Keller and Colin Price acknowledge that although there is a "multitude" of books about business leadership and management already in print (actually, Amazon now offers 16,075 titles), they believe that "no other work offers what we are trying to provide. Our approach combines two views. The first view is of a `stable equilibrium' state of organizational excellence in which high performance can be sustained; the second is of the dynamics of the transition required to reach that combining static and dynamic views of organizations, we aim to arrive at a fuller understanding of their fundamental nature. To that end, we aim to shift the `installed base' of management thinking'...Our central message is focusing on organizational health - which we define as the ability of your organization to align, execute, and renew itself faster that your competitors can - is just important as focusing on the traditional drivers of business performance."

With all that clarified up front, Keller and Price then carefully guide their reader through a five-stage process (appropriately identified as the "5 As") for developing capabilities beyond their current potentialities for performance in order to achieve and then sustain "ultimate competitive advantage." Frankly, I am astonished by the fact that so many C-level executives still do not fully understand that their organization's #1 competitor tomorrow will be what it offers today. Today's performance is measured in terms of specific results. By nature, results occur at the conclusion of a process of effort. The challenge is to become so "healthy" as an organization that the capabilities are there to align, execute, and renew faster than the competition so that the organization can sustain exceptional performance over time.
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