Book review: Beyond Performance

Emma De Vita reviews Scott Keller and Colin Price's book, which argues success is more than a matter of individual performance

Off the shelf
Off the shelf

Before you get worried: no, Scott Keller and Colin Price are not extolling the virtues of amateur dramatics to get you ahead in management. Rather, their book is about looking beyond the individual performances that make up an organisation and trying to understand what makes it flourish collectively.

Beyond PerformanceTheir big idea boils down to "performance and health". Performance is about delivering financial results right now. Health is about the ability to do it year in, year out. The two things are not the same, and organisations might have neither, just one or both of these things.

There are three principles underlying this theory. The first is that performance and health matter as much as each other, so it is your job as a manager to address both in the decisions you take. The second principle is that you should be managing performance and health today - it's a common error that leaders focus solely on the here and now without equal emphasis on the long-term health of the organisation. The final principle is that nothing changes unless behaviour does. Improvement comes only by getting people to do things differently - and that's where your expertise as a manager will really get tested.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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