Tag Archives: Organizational Development

Performance Transformation, LLC™ Launches Services For Private Equity And Angel Investor Markets


Professional and strategic development firm integrates machine learning technology and neuroscience research to quantify and address leadership risk, employee engagement, productivity, innovation and accelerate earnings performance.

VENICE, Fla. — Performance Transformation, LLC™ (Venice, FL) announced today the launch of their newest service offering specifically tailored for Private Equity firms and Angel Investors. The Performance Equity portfolio offers an array of custom services and technologies designed to fully address the greatest risk factor in equity financing; the human element of leadership teams.

The evolutionary approach integrates insights, assessments and development tools garnered from recent discoveries from the neurosciences with a machine learning platform that employs advanced algorithms to generate predictive analytics.

“This is truly innovative, bringing a level of analytical sophistication to private markets that was previously only available to major firms operating in public markets,” said Terry Murray, founder and Managing Partner of Performance Transformation. “Being able to quantify and mitigate human risk factors within leadership teams is a powerful first step, but it’s just the beginning. Going forward, our clients will be positioned to leverage Big Data into business intelligence of unprecedented value.”

Founded in 2008, Performance Transformation, LLC is a leading innovator in driving organizational performance. The firm takes a comprehensive approach of optimizing and aligning leadership, strategy and organizational culture to drive breakthrough productivity, engagement, and innovation. Mr. Murray is also the author of “The Transformational Entrepreneur”, which was cited by the academic Journal of Economic Literature for its thought leadership in March, 2012.

“For Angel Investors, the human elements and dynamics of the leadership team have always represented the greatest risk factor in their investment portfolio,” added Mr. Murray, who has been working within the investor-driven startup community since 2001. “Until now, there has not been a way to standardize, quantify, and proactively address these factors scientifically. This is a game changer. Angels are continuously collecting reams of due diligence information that, once the investment decision is made, turns fallow. Our approach will enable them to leverage that information into remarkably valuable business intelligence to optimize the IRR on their portfolios.”

Performance Transformation has identified an antecedent, causal correlation between assessable, neurological styles and the top leadership competencies shared by today’s high performers. Their proprietary Accretive Coaching Process℠ employs an educationally-based approach to cultivate new neural pathways in the prefrontal cortex and frontal lobe, breaking constrained thinking patterns that take root in the Basal Ganglia. The resulting neural networks enable adaptive thinking to emerge, the type of thinking entrepreneurs and executives require in today’s volatile, rapidly changing environment. The developmental approach is grounded in tangible, stretch business objectives to drive immediate performance improvements. The firm has partnered with Root 5 Systemics™ (Toronto, ON) and Talent Sprocket™ (St. Petersburg, FL) to enable the integration of advanced, team dynamic assessments and the predictive analtyics engine.

“For several years, we were way ahead of the curve,” commented Terry. “Being the lone voice in the wilderness takes intestinal fortitude, but that’s where innovators reside. It’s all paid off, as our approach and vision is being validated nearly every day now. The U.S. Army just published a study that aligns with and validates our insights and one of the largest corporations in the United States has adopted the core premise of our methodologies.” Mr. Murray’s work was also formally commended by General David Petraeus in 2010.

Addressing the value this represents for the Private Equity sector, Terry points to the annual State of American Business report from Gallup®.

“For the twelth year running, Gallup reports employee engagement levels are endemically stuck at 3 out of 10 employees. Seventy percent of employees are asleep at the switch or even worse, working at cross-purpose with their employers. This represents a talent arbitrage opportunity within many, many firms. We’re talking about the raw material of value creation in the 21st Century; human talent. For many firms, approximately 50% of their payroll is delivering little or no return on investment. If Henry Ford had a scrap rate of 50% on his raw materials, I doubt it would have become an endemic productivity and earnings drain for more than a decade. He would have done something about it!”

Mr. Murray adds, “Our integrative approach can scientifically identify these opportunities and, more importantly, fuel rapid turnarounds in employee engagement, productivity and the resulting innovation that will flow from intelligent, organizational and leadership rehabilitation. We can cut development costs while achieving breakthrough improvements in productivity and earnings. This approach will revolutionize management practices going forward.”

© 2013, Performance Transformation, LLC™.  All Rights Reserved.

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July 9, 2013 · 10:26 am

From Knowledge Management to Content Collaboration – Unleashing Value Creation in the 21st Century

I’d like to share some exciting research and insights from several business thought leaders that have come to light over the past seven months that point to the remarkable business opportunities that are right before us!

In the November, 2012 edition of the McKinsey Quarterly®, research published in the article, “Capturing Business Value With Social Technologies” provides us with a glimpse into the breathtaking potential of creating real business value through the targeted application of social connectivity platforms.  Obviously, we’re not talking about Facebook here, but emerging media designed specifically for business.  What the authors of the article have discovered is too important to paraphrase, so I’ll quote them directly:

“An in-­depth  analysis  of  four  industry  sectors  that  represent  almost 20  percent  of  global  industry  sales  suggests  that  social  platforms can  unlock  $900  billion  to  $1.3  trillion  in  value  in  those  sectors   alone.  Two-­thirds  of  this  value  creation  opportunity  lies  in  improving  communication  and  collaboration  within  and  across  enterprises.”

As promising as this sounds, technology, in and of itself, is not the entirety of the answer.  Capturing this promise will require a shift in leadership perspective.  One that ferries organizations, and most importantly, organizational culture from an orientation forged during the Industrial Age to one that truly fits what author and thought leader Don Tapscott calls The Age of Networked Intelligence.

In an interview (also from the McKinsey Quarterly) that was published last month entitled, “Making Internal Collaboration Work”, Don Tapscott shared his views on the subject.  First, he states that Knowledge Management has failed.  According to Mr. Tapscott, attempting to containerize knowledge in repositories is futile.  Why?  Because knowledge is not a static entity, nor a finite asset.  Tapscott also points to the false assumption that a company’s knowledge assets exists within the walls of the company.  In the interview, he states that the most important knowledge exists outside of the boundaries of the organization and the way to tap into it is through open collaboration.

Tapscott goes on to identify the problem with email, humorously pointing out that, like Mark Twain once said about the weather, “Everybody’s complaining about it, but no ones doing anything about it!”  (In actuality, we are…and I’ll share more below.) Email sequesters valuable information and knowledge resources.  Not only does email make access to knowledge difficult, it’s a time and productivity sink.  Referring again to research from the November McKinsey article, the researchers discovered that the typical interaction worker (i.e. knowledge worker) spends 28% of each day reading, writing and responding to emails.  This figure represents 13 hours a week or the equivalent of more than 80 days a year working on emails!  All to further lock away valuable, company knowledge into an unsearchable, uncatorgorized tomb.  The authors go on to identify that the productivity of interaction workers could be improved by 20% to 25% by migrating away from email and onto collaborative, open media platforms.  This is the exact productivity improvement CEOs have identified as necessary to maintain competitive advantage in today’s economic climate (as reported in the Corporate Executive Board 2013 Executive Guidance report).

Knowledge sharing on email, once initially exchanged, falls into a virtual safe deposit box that requires two keys to open; knowing exactly what it is that you’re looking to retrieve and remembering who that email was sent or received from.  The first iteration of Knowledge Management attempted to pull the knowledge out of the safe deposit boxes, but still left it in the vault.

Let’s take a look at this opportunity through another lens, one that will help us focus on how we get from where we are to where we need to be.  In order to incorporate and successfully orchestrate emerging social technologies for value creation we will need to prime the knowledge pump.  Here’s where traditional corporate training, another artifact from the Industrial Age, falls short.  In a white paper written by thought leader Jay Cross for Citrix® entitled, “Why Corporate Training is Broken and How to Fix It”, the author points to the challenges traditional training represent in a collaborative, networked world.  In his paper, Mr. Cross identifies the fact that 3 out of 4 Chief Learning Officers are dissatisfied with their corporate training programs and lack of results.  He points out as Industrial Age hierarchies begin the slow migration to collaborative networks, corporate training must follow suit.

Here’s a great example.  I got into a debate the other day on a LinkedIn discussion group focused on team building.  Having suffered through seemingly endless, nonsensical team building programs during my corporate days, be it ropes courses, game playing, or building toy boats in a resort swimming pool, I hold some strong opinions as to the vacuous nature of such investments.  As an executive, I sought a truly meaningful, efficacious and aligned approach to building cohesion and collaboration in the organizations I led.  It was a framing perspective for the development of our own, scientifically-substantiated Adaptive Team Building programs that focus on cultivating soft skills, that are truly causal skills, that positively effect team cohesion, creative thinking and collaboration.  The ropes course advocates took great offense.  Yet, with ten minutes of research, I discovered that by the year 2000, there were more than 20,000 such courses offering team building programs to businesses in the country.  The CAGR of courses was adding an additional 250 sites per year to the landscape.  Sitting here today, with somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000 of such programs in operation, why are we still searching for tools that support collaboration, cohesion and creative thinking in teams?  This Industrial Age approach to training no longer delivers value, if in fact, it ever did in the first place.

Jay Cross makes another insightful observation in his paper regarding the limitations of applying social technology without additional support.  He states, “Simply bolting on informal and social learning as a new technique doesn’t work.  A company cannot take full advantage of networked learning without shifting its values, culture and practices.  It must move toward becoming a collaborative organization.”  This migration requires the alignment and optimization of leadership, strategy and organizational culture; the fundamental premise and philosophy we at Performance Transformation have been discussing for five years.  Mr. Cross goes on to offer a four step approach to solving this dilemma.  Here are his recommended steps and Performance Transformation’s tools and solutions for igniting the value creating, collaborative flywheel:

1.) Create a Collaborative Culture.  This requires engagement well beyond the approximately 30% of associates that are actively engaged today (Gallup and the Chartered Management Institute).  Trust must be repaired.  This begins with adopting a fresh approach from transactional leadership toward transformational leadership.  Affective Leadership development focuses on cultivating the interpersonal and emotional intelligence skills that help leaders get off the dance floor and into the balcony by gaining insights into how their leadership neurologically and biochemically affects those they lead.  This approach literally invites engagement, the prerequisite for successful, open collaboration.

2.) Impart Collaborative Motivation.  Once again, we’re back to leadership, but also organizational structure.  Command-and-control leadership is as outdated to Gen X and Gen Y workers as an Etch-A-Sketch, and hierarchies can stifle motivation, especially in younger workers.  Introducing an Open Network Strategy Accelerator (“Accelerate”, Kotter, Harvard Business Review, October, 2012) that can thrive along side the efficiencies of the hierarchy opens the door for multi-generational, multi-cultural collaboration across company silos.

3.) Introduce a Collaborative Infrastructure.  While hierarchies can deliver remarkable efficiencies ensuring companies hit next quarter’s numbers, this structure is also stable to the point of being staid.  Hierarchies weren’t meant to be nimble.  Through our partners at Democrasoft, we’ve introduced a dynamic software infrastructure that supports the Open Network Strategy Accelerator described by Professor Kotter in the HBR.  This platform invites engagement and collaboration throughout the organization, cross pollenating creative ideas and insights, delivering remarkable visibility and transparency.  It pulls knowledge sharing and content collaboration out of email threads and onto a highly accessible, open platform.  The software even enables social branding initiatives to reach out into the marketplace as well as enabling segments of the network to open and capture knowledge from outside of the organization.

4.) Enable Collaborative Learning.  Our unique approach to collaborative learning incorporates Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning (EFEL).  Our relationship-based approach has been commended by General David Petraeus and, most recently, adopted into the core curriculum of a charter school for at-risk girls.  It is not traditional training.  It is experiential learning on a truly collaborative level, both with fellow participants and the horses.  It is no more static than today’s economic landscape and engages the participants in a research-based, statistically substantiated and efficacious approach to professional development.

Touching on what Don Topscott shares in his TED video, he identifies four principles necessary for success in the new, open world.  They are collaboration, transparency, sharing of assets, and empowerment; all dramatic shifts from traditional managerial philosophy.  Again, we’re back to leadership, strategy and organizational culture as the overarching drivers of creating nimble, engaged, and innovative companies.

The point is, there’s no one, silver bullet solution to the challenges and opportunities we face today.  Success going forward will require an integrative approach to how we connect, engage, inspire and motivate human beings to collaborate and co-create in the age of Networked Intelligence; the rapidly emerging source of business value creation in the 21st century.

© 2013, Terry Murray.

Learn more about our integrative approach at Performance Transformation, LLC™.

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Triangulating Talent Management ~ Leadership, Strategy and Organizational Culture

Over the course of my career, both in Corporate America and with investor-driven startups, I came to understand the driving elements of breakthrough performance.  Elements that transcend markets, industries and technologies. What I observed, and wrote extensively about in my book, was that the companies that consistently over-achieved and outperformed their competition optimized and aligned leadership, strategy and organizational culture.  As simple as this sounds it takes a concerted, mindful effort to coordinate and execute these mission-critical elements.

Adding to this challenge is the shift in the underlying driver of value creation in our ever-accelerating evolution from the Information Age to the Age of Ideas.  Human creativity, in the form of commercially viable intellectual property, is now the source of value creation in our global economy.  Today’s business leaders, for the most part, came up through the ranks optimizing processes, eliminating variability (think Six Sigma and TQM), and reducing costs.  Optimizing processes requires technical skills and evolves around good management.  Optimizing human capital requires adaptive skills (the so-called soft skills) and is driven by inspirational leadership.  The underpinnings of business success have shifted beneath our feet.

Taleo Research® published a white paper that supports this perspective.  The study, entitled, “Talent Intelligence – Key To U.S. Business Success”, identifies that in today’s knowledge economy upwards of 70% of an organization’s value is based upon the skills and experiences of its associates.  When we overlay other research from Gallup, McKinsey, and CEB, breathtaking opportunities for breakthrough performance and company valuation growth are revealed.

Employee engagement levels continue to hover around 30%, meaning that upwards of 70% of employees are sleepwalking through at least a part of their day.  Realistically, what level of discretionary effort can we expect from the 70%?  CEB’s Executive Guidance – 2013 report revealed CEOs currently believe they will need to increase workforce productivity by 20% in order to stay competitive in the coming years (the CAGR of workforce productivity has been a little over 3% per year since 1993).  The takeaways?  The 30% of employees that are intrinsically motivated contribute the vast majority of company value and elevating the growth rate of productivity from 3% to 20% will require innovative thinking and new approaches to engaging and motivating the other 70% of associates.  As daunting as this appears, the upside is nothing short of spectacular.

The fact is, robust Talent Management is central to success going forward.  So where do we begin?  Taleo identified the most important talent analytics and found they could be broken down into four major categories.

1.) Business Strategy – Defining goals and aligning employees to achieve these goals.

2.) Retention – Identifying and retaining high potentials and high performers.

3.) Leadership Development – Identifying and developing leadership bench strength.

4.) Workforce Metrics – Insights into the skills gaps to execute the business strategy.

Supporting my observations from twenty years of executive experience, Taleo’s report reveals leadership, strategy and organizational culture (a key to retention) are driving elements of Talent Management, which is now the driver of breakthrough performance.

mckinsey-quarterly-right-leaders-image-003It all begins with leadership, but what kind of leadership?  In June, 2011, the McKinsey Quarterly® published a major study that identified the fact that only 1% of “C” level executives and one step down executives measured “excellent” in five out of eight leadership competencies.  Ten percent scored “above average”, leaving the vast majority of executives scoring average or below average.  Strikingly, many of the competencies McKinsey was measuring back in 2010/2011 were more closely aligned with an approach to leadership that no longer resonates in our multi-cultural, multi-generational workforce.

Fortunately, CEB’s recent research has identified the key competencies high performers are demonstrating in today’s highly volatile, fast-paced environment.  Skills that include self-awareness and social/organizational awareness, adaptive, innovative thinking, as well as learning agility.  Critical skills that don’t show up in McKinsey’s research.  Critical skills that must be present if we are to reverse the employee engagement trends and achieve a 20% improvement in productivity.  There’s lots of room for improvement here as well, as CEB reports that, on average, only 5% of workers demonstrate a well balanced blend of these skills.

We’ve coined a phrase to describe this approach to leadership.  We call it Affective Leadership, which is the leadership of engagement (the approach integrates research from many scientific disciplines including affective neuroscience; how our brains react and function under various, emotional stimuli and interpersonal relationships).  An approach to leadership that is grounded in empathy and authenticity.  In fact, the Creative Leadership Institute conducted an eight year study in which they identified the only competency that differentiated mediocre management from inspirational leadership was empathy.  This is a learnable skill that requires a shift in perspective; from me to we.  The path for cultivating empathy begins with the development of emotional intelligence competencies; self-awareness and social awareness; which leads to self-regulation and the emergence of strong relationship management skills.

This is the starting gate for capturing that 20% improvement in productivity.  There’s a hidden workforce lying just beneath the surface in many organizations and it is through the process of implementing Affective Leadership that spectacular improvements in productivity, innovation and creative thinking will emerge.  With this foundation of leadership in place, strategy becomes more mindful and adaptive, and the organization’s culture becomes much more supportive of open collaboration, communication and innovation.  It is this approach to leadership that will set the tone and trajectory for success in the 21st Century.

© 2013, Terry Murray

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“The Transformational Entrepreneur” Cited in the Academic Journal of Economic Literature

For Immediate Release – March 28, 2012 –

Terry Murray’s groundbreaking book, “The Transformational Entrepreneur ~ Engaging The Mind, Heart & Spirit For Business Breakthrough Success” was recognized and cited in the peer-reviewed, academic Journal of Economic Literature’s March 2012 issue.

Performance Transformation, LLC™ (Venice, FL) announced today that their founder and Managing Partner’s book, “The Transformational Entrepreneur”was recognized and cited in the academic Journal of Economic Literature for its contribution to professional business literature and thought leadership.

“We received the unsolicited notification letter from the Journal last week,” responded Mr. Murray. “It was both humbling and exciting at the same time.  I’ve been working on the business side of the life sciences, medical technology and health care sectors since 1988, so I have an enormous appreciation for the diligence of peer-reviewed, academic journals.  As a business executive, and not an academic, this is a distinct honor for my book to be recognized for its contribution to the field of business and economic professional literature.”

The Journal of Economic Literature is published by the American Economic Association (AEA), a professional organization of economists, academics, and business thought leaders with more than 22,000 members.

“My executive career has spanned some truly remarkable changes in the global business landscape,” added Terry.  “Historically, there’s always been a lag in leadership, strategy and organizational philosophy in response to market shifts in value creation.  I entered the biotechnology world during its infancy.  This was the beginning of the knowledge-based economy and coincided with the boom in personal computing.  Yet the methods, perspectives, and philosophies we were trained for in business school all emerged out of the Industrial Age.  We literally had to discover a new approach to business as usual along the way, but it is only today, some 25 years later, that the strategic imperative of human creativity in business is beginning to move into the mainstream.”

“The Transformational Entrepreneur” will also be indexed in the American Economic Association’s internet database, EconLit, which is accessible at libraries and universities around the world, as well as to licensed institutions and AEA members.  The electronic bibliography indexes over 120 years of economics literature from around the world.  The database complies professional journal articles, collective volume articles, working papers, dissertations, and books of note on the subject of economics and business practice.

“The shift in the source of value creation truly began in the 1980s, but information technology bridged the productivity gap for thirty years, masking the need for a change in the approach to  leadership, strategy and organizational development.  By the turn of the century it was already beginning to hit a point of diminishing returns, right at the time the explosively disruptive power of the internet began to take off.  Even old world industries are doing business in ways they never could have anticipated ten years ago,” commented Terry.

Mr. Murray went on to say, “Perhaps because I was immersed in the knowledge-based economy for so long I saw the need for a more human-centric approach to business.  Research scientists, physicians and engineers, and their creative talents, are the raw material for value creation and competitive advantage in this new era of business.  You cannot lead creatives the same way we once managed assembly line workers.  Two years after I began writing my book, the IBM Global CEO Survey exemplified the perspective and approach I was writing about at the time, reporting that creativity and the ability to cultivate creativity throughout the workplace was the single most important attribute CEOs are looking for in future leaders.”

Terry’s book was published two months after IBM released the results of their bi-annual survey in December of 2010.

About the author ~ Terry Murray is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and professional business advisor/coach with twenty-five years of progressive experience in strategic development, executive leadership, and the deployment of highly profitable business teams. His work with Fortune 1000 and startup companies has directly contributed more than $1 billion in market capitalization growth throughout his career.

He is the founder and Managing Partner of Performance Transformation, LLC™, a professional and strategic development firm focused on igniting breakthrough performance by optimizing and aligning authentic leadership, mindful strategy, and an engaging, creative organizational culture.

The company’s evidence-based programs and pragmatic approach employs their proprietary Accretive Coaching Process℠.  This innovative, developmental process integrates concepts from published research in the neurosciences, emotional intelligence, performance psychology, quantum physics and Applied Behavioral Economics with Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning.

Learn more at http://ignitingcreativityinbusiness.com.

© 2012, Performance Transformation, LLC™.


Filed under Health Care, Leadership Development, Organizational Culture, Team Building

Organizational Structure Can Ignite Breakthrough Performance in Creative Team Work

Key Concept ~ How we structure the organization is a reflection of how we perceive function, and once established, how we function is highly influenced by our organizational structure.

I read an interesting article last week about the hyper-growth of internet technology companies in the Bay Area and the challenges they are having maintaining their creative cultures as their organizations grow. Even the most highly innovative entrepreneurial endeavors can fall back into old, hierarchical patterns as the demands of the organization flourish.

Here’s an excerpt from my book, “The Transformational Entrepreneur ~ Engaging The Mind, Heart, & Spirit For Breakthrough Business Success” that may offer a solution that is as innovative as the companies themselves!

While conducting market research in 2005 I became intrigued with the concept of convergence; of how biotechnology, information technology, and nanotechnology were coming together to create a new generation of products and capabilities. As I discovered compelling opportunities to converge companies with specific core competencies to create breakthrough technologies I also saw barriers that would challenge this vision. The barriers emerged from two areas; Company hierarchical structure resulting in silos that challenge internal coordination (never mind external convergence); and the intellectual horsepower of Ph.D.’s that were remarkably expert in their area of application but were no more insightful than a college science graduate in the complementary technologies. From an investor’s perspective, how could one converge the silos and create an environment of cross-pollination of the science and technology?

The answer came to me visually and was a bit of an epiphany…lay the silos down upon their sides and introduce structural, cultural, and operational porosity to the previously isolated silos. In effect, overlap and transform them into horizontal conduits of cooperative, customer-centric, developmental process drawn together by a surrounding conduit of leadership, finance, and shared operational infrastructure.

Copyright Terry Murray, 2011.

The seeds of thought for this new structural approach germinated while consulting with Kevin Schimelfenig, Founder and Managing Partner of SalesForce4Hire®, LLC. Kevin’s company provides custom sales solutions for medical device and life science organizations. The company creates custom business engines that can be absorbed or dissolved by the client and operates with a core management and talent team that expands and contracts in accordance with the needs of the current client mix. The core management team is highly cooperative and works together to move their clients’ projects through a proprietary commercialization process. The focus is on process flow and the company’s differentiating value highly depends upon the efficiency and speed of value creation. In effect, the process is driven through a value creating pipeline. This value conduit is highly porous operationally, absorbing contract resources as they are needed and releasing them upon conclusion of a project. SalesForce4Hire maniacally focuses on their core competencies and outsources everything else. There are no hierarchies or silos that could place a drag on value creation or introduce the risk of becoming distracted by non-value creating activities.

Interestingly, as I began refining the conduit structure business model I discovered, quite by accident, the root meaning of the word “conduit”. The word conduit originates from the Medieval Latin conductus, from the Latin, past participle of condūcere, meaning “to lead together”. Many people say there are no coincidences, and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate definition reflecting the intention of this approach to organizational structure!

The fact of the matter is, hierarchical structure is two dimensional…it reflects layers of authority across silos of functionality.  It does not reflect the human element so critical for success in today’s economy.  Such structures emerged out of the industrial age, when process, function, and control were the key drivers of success…not creativity.  Creativity flows from within; from within the great mystery that is the human spirit.  By adopting a new perspective on organizational structure, innovative companies can continue to cultivate their creative culture as they grow and flourish in the New Economy.

© Terry Murray, 2011. Excerpt from Chapter Nine of The Transformational Entrepreneur ~ Engaging The Mind, Heart, & Spirit For Breakthrough Business Success.

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