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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

They Say Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

We’ve all heard it said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”  I suppose it is true…at the very least, it’s quite validating.  I’m referring to the relatively recent entrance of two medical device behemoths attempting to reinvent themselves to take advantage of the changes necessitated by the mandated reform emerging in U.S. health care.

During a recent review of our firm’s SEO rankings related to key word searches, we came across an interesting discovery.  GE Healthcare, a company that annually earns billions of dollars in revenue through the sale of MRI and advanced imaging equipment, popped up when searching the name of our firm, Performance Transformation, LLC™.  The Milwaukee-based subsidiary of General Electric Corporation has launched a business services unit with the title, “Performance Transformation“, along with the tag line “Driving Breakthrough Performance Improvement”.  Also interesting was one of the tabs on their site describing their new initiative entitled, “Strategy, Leadership, and Performance Transformation”.

The Transformational Entrepreneur CoverWell, at least I know they read my book, “The Transformational Entrepreneur ~ Engaging The Mind, Heart & Spirit For Breakthrough Business Success”, published in February of 2011, and cited by the academic Journal of Economic Literature in March, 2012.

I’d like to share a quote from Chapter Two:  “Creating transformational performance is like igniting a fire; it requires three fundamental elements.  A fire requires a source of heat, fuel, and oxygen in order to burn.  Transformational performance requires authentic, conscious leadership (the heat), a visionary strategic plan (the fuel), and a creative culture that fully engages the entire workforce (the oxygen).”  In fact it was from these words that our own tag line emerged, which is a part of our trademarked logo, “Leadership ~ Strategy ~ Culture”.  Could GE have come any closer, without risk of infringement, by using Strategy, Leadership, and Performance Transformation?

During one of my media appearances in 2011, with Jim Blasingame on his nationally syndicated Small Business Advocate® Show, Jim stopped the interview and asked me to repeat my insight again, commenting, “Leadership, strategy, culture. Everyone of those things, folks, you heard us talk about on the show before, but only Terry has pulled it together in one little nugget.  Remember this folks, it’s going to be on the test.”  (If you’re so inclined, you can listen to the interview on the Forbes website).

What’s even more interesting is the fact that I met with a senior GE Healthcare associate at the 2011 American Society for Training and Development Conference, who expressed her sincere interest in our approach (you can watch the video of my presentation at the conference here).  The irony is that when we followed up with her after the meetings, she told me that GE Healthcare was under a mandate that all learning and development programs must be delivered through elearning platforms.  No experiential learning or blended learning would be purchased, but she added, “Give me a call back in a year or so…we change direction every 18 months.”

If you read GE Healthcare’s webpage on their new programs, it reads right out of the playbook I put forth in my book and on this website over the past several years.  They talk about development through a structure of Goals and Objectives (Chapter Seven), a process of candor and consistency for engagement (my words are authenticity and congruency for engagement, Chapter Six), organizational values and culture (Chapter Eight), and the use of custom leadership development curriculum integrated with strategic projects and stretch assignments (our Accretive Coaching Process℠, Chapter Nine).

Upon reading this I thought, with tongue in cheek, “Gee, perhaps they should consider changing their slogan from GE, Imagination At Work® to GE, Imitation At Work“.  The reason I am sharing this with you today is I do wish to point out that, quite often, being big doesn’t necessarily equate with being the first to innovate.  We rolled out our first program for healthcare, entitled, “The Emotionally Resilient Nurse”, in 2009, built around the same vision, approach and philosophy we’ve been following all along.  Of note, on June 5, 2013, just ten days ago, GE announced a new program for nurses; their Nurse Executive Fellowship program.  Nimble, creative thought leadership and innovation often comes from entrepreneurial firms, which is why global pharmaceutical companies pursue an acquisition strategy of small biotech firms in an attempt to fill their innovation pipelines.  But at least they pay for it.

Over the past year, we’ve integrated several exciting, advanced collaboration and talent management software platforms into our process as well.  Just two days ago, GE Healthcare announced they’ll be investing $2 billion over the next two years in software development to support their new initiatives.  Now, everyone is doing this as well, but it does seem to follow a pattern.

Just because you’re copying a business model and strategy doesn’t mean you can execute on it.  Let’s face it, migrating from a capital equipment sales and service model based around high tech imaging systems to one based upon developing the human element in health care is a wide chasm to traverse.  Especially when one’s own corporate culture is highly command-and-control and out of step with the rapidly changing needs of today’s business and health care environment.  I understand GE Healthcare’s need to reinvent themselves; the days of imaging centers popping up on every other street corner and hospitals pursuing one-up-manship with each other by buying the newest MRI are long gone.  IBM reinvented themselves from a hardware company to a service company, so I imagine GE Healthcare is trying to follow the same survival strategy.

And, oh, by the way, Royal Philips Electronics, GE Healthcare’s primary competitor, just announced their new initiative, Healthcare Transformation Services Business, a month ago.

One must keep one’s sense of humor and perspective about such things…perhaps imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
© 2013, Terry Murray. 

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June 15, 2013 · 10:56 am

What Neurosurgeons and Horses Can Teach Us About Leadership

_PPH5798Sounds strange, doesn’t it?  I’ve grown accustomed to the quizzical looks over the years when I tell people we work with horses to help leaders develop the critical competencies necessary for today’s volatile workplace.  It isn’t a gimmick, an arcane game or ropes course.  It is a scientifically substantiated approach to experiential learning.  One that greatly accelerates development thanks to the fact that our carefully structured exercises ferry participants through all four modalities of Kolb’s Adult Learning Style Inventory.  Our approach also draws heavily from the neuroscience research of such luminaries as Dan Goleman, Rich Davidson, Jaak Panksepp and Ravi Rao.  Going beyond psychology, the brain research that is continuously emerging enables us, as leadership development experts, to address the causal, neurological pathways that result in demonstrated behaviors. Traditional leadership development methodologies, focused on behaviorism (i.e., mainstream psychology’s embrace of cognitive behavioral therapy), have had thirty years on the main stage, and left us with a dearth of effective, mindful leaders.  If anything, traditional approaches to development have added to the inertia in leadership we see all around us.

If you don’t believe me, ask Dr. Allen Hamilton, neurosurgeon at the University of Arizona Medical Center.  Dr. Hamilton is employing a form of relationship-based, Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning.  An approach very much in alignment with our own.  If you happened to have missed it, here’s a story about Dr. Hamilton employing horses to cultivate emotional intelligence competencies, heightened sensitivity to non-verbal communication, and empathy with medical school students:

Need a second opinion?  If you have a few minutes, I’d like to invite you to listen to Dr. Ravi Rao, a Harvard trained neurosurgeon (who also holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins), who joined me on a radio interview, sharing his thoughts on our approach.  

So, why is this approach so effective?  The research demonstrates our brains have plasticity.  We can, through conscious effort, literally change the way we interpret and react to the work around us on a basic, neurological level.  

Neuroscience also provides insights into why human beings resist change.  The brain consumes 25% of the blood glucose in our bodies at any given time.  The majority of it is used to support our visual cortex and our near-term memory, the two parts of your brain you are using to read this blog.  After that, the brain is very conservative in its use of energy.  It takes far less energy to follow a well established neural pathway than it does to create new ones.  Think of our established neural pathways as dry river beds cut deep into the side of a mountain.  Every time it rains, the water follows the path of least resistance, cutting an even deeper rivulet down the mountain.  Trying to get the water to flow in another direction takes significant effort.

Neuroscience guides our approach to sparking neurogenesis, particularly in the pre-frontal cortex, the brain’s executive center where the competencies of emotional intelligence emerge (self-awareness, social awareness, self regulation, and relationship management skills).  By introducing novelty, (having a professional enter into a round pen to co-create a shared goal with a horse without the use of language, touch, or dominating behaviors is pretty novel) we disrupt the established pathways associated with problem solving.  As the participant connects, engages and motivates the horse, fall-back behaviors emerge.  Interpersonal behaviors.  When we don’t know what to do we do what we know, and the leadership behaviors people demonstrate with their direct reports are revealed to the participant on their own accord.  These are powerful, breakthrough moments of self-awareness bursting to the surface of consciousness.  No one is telling the participant a thing…other than the horse.  The participant is seeing their own behaviors reflected back to them through the behaviors of the horse.  And horses don’t lie, shade or judge emotions.  Emotions are information to horses (this is also a neuroscience finding based upon the work of Dr. Jaak Panksepp), as they should be to us as well.

Research from the field also provides new assessment tools that enable us to hone in on specific areas of development.  Here’s a short, video white board describing this application:

As we move deeper into the 21st Century, adaptive challenges will continue to confront us.  Challenges in which we don’t know all the answers.  Challenges that will require collaborative efforts from a multi-cultural, multi-generational workforce to resolve.  And resolve at speed, in real time.  Working with horses from a neurologically substantiated perspective imparts learning agility in leaders.  Horses require us to park our ego at the barn door as well.  They aren’t impressed with titles, paychecks or artificial authority.  They are impressed with presence.  This approach enables leaders to learn how to dance in the moment, acting with mindful discernment even when confronted with highly novel challenges.  And to do so while maintaining congruency, transparency and authenticity.  Horses, and humans, demand no less.

© 2013, Terry Murray.



May 7, 2013 · 8:43 am

Establishing a Talent Management Baseline for Breakthrough Productivity

As the economy continues to gain ground, organizations are faced with the risk of unprecedented turnover.  Years of downsizing have left many workers disengaged, mistrustful of leadership, and generally burned out.  A recent survey illustrated the fact that 55% of employees feel they cannot handle their current workload and the resulting stress much longer.  From an organizational development viewpoint, this unsettling situation threatens the foundational competitiveness of many firms, fore it is the best and the brightest that are the most mobile.  The collaborative challenges of leading a multi-cultural and multi-generational workforce, in an ever-accelerating environment, only exacerbates the threat.

Let’s face it, traditional approaches to leadership development have fallen far short of their promise.  With enterprises investing $50 billion a year in leadership development, you’d think we’d see better results, yet only 1% of 5,560 executives assessed (McKinsey Quarterly, July, 2011) scored excellent in key competencies.  Nearly nine out of ten score below average.  The fact of the matter is, behaviorally-based approaches to leadership development only treat the symptoms of poor leadership, blindly missing the causal elements that differentiate mediocre management from inspirational leadership.  Even worse, these traditional approaches to talent management are failing to identify upwards of 65% of high potentials.  All of these factors are combining to create the perfect storm for many companies.  With the speed of business and demands for innovation what they are today, committing a misstep in talent management can be fatal…and there no longer exists even a modicum of time to respond.  If you get blindsided by this today, you may not be around tomorrow.

Here’s a short, video white board describing how leveraging the state-of-the-science findings from the field of affective neuroscience, along with incorporating targeted, demonstrated high performer competencies (in today’s volatile world), can anticipate this coming wave of disruption by creating a quantitative, talent management baseline that aligns with the demands of the day.

© 2013, Terry Murray.


May 1, 2013 · 4:07 pm

Integrating Neuroscience and Experiential Learning to Development Next Gen Leaders

 Last Friday, I had the opportunity to appear on Patricia Raskin’s Positive Business radio program.  As a frequent guest of Patricia’s, we picked up our conversation on how the research studies emerging from the field of affective neuroscience are providing high resolution insights into how the brain responds and processes emotions and how this can be leveraged to develop highly engaging, inspirational leaders.  We also discuss our approach to experiential learning to accelerate a powerful shift in perspective that enables leaders to see and experience the emotional, psychological and resulting productivity effect they have on those they lead.

You’re welcome to listen to the 22 minute interview here:

You’re also welcome to take a look at our approach here:

© 2013, Terry Murray.

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April 29, 2013 · 9:47 am