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Superperformance: 1 Simple Formula. 8 Simple Rules. 1 Billion Great Results.
In his groundbreaking first book, Dave Guerra proposes a stunningly simple way through today’s complex world of work, introducing us to a new management science, showing how Superperformance springs from the intersection of an organization’s passion and process.
Guerra believes that most organizations still cling to the outdated notion that organizations are machines, not organisms. He argues that many of today’s workers, leaders and managers are still prisoners of a paradigm that dates back to the Industrial Revolution. These ideas: division of labor, command and control, and a focus on parts over wholes, are becoming further and further estranged from today’s turn-on-a-dime diet of unrelenting change, disaffected workers and increasing complexity.
Instead, Guerra proposes a Simple Rule: Process x Culture = Superperformance. This book is about the science that supports this rule. It is also about the simple approaches that have enabled companies like Toyota, Southwest Airlines, Microsoft, Tiffany & Co. and others to achieve and sustain super results year after year . . . after year. By studying the real Superperformers around the world, Guerra has developed a roadmap any company can follow to achieve this elusive state.
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Building on several decades of research and his own firsthand experience, Dave Guerra shows how some of the world’s premier organizations are using the principles of Superperformance to dominate their industries, achieve breakthrough operating results, reach coveted levels of customer satisfaction, and accelerate and make responsive every dimension of their operations.
The book draws on the best of improvement and complexity science to introduce a profoundly simple, yet shockingly robust formula for achieving and sustaining organizational excellence. It explores these important areas:
What is organizational Superperformance and how do you get it?
Who are the real Superperformers and what are they doing differently?
Are there simpler rules that apply to all of Superperformance?
How are most organizations trapped in a mechanistic worldview, and how does this drive organizational sub-performance?
Superperformance answers these questions clearly and convincingly, based on the real-world experience of organizational Superperformers like Toyota Motors, Southwest Airlines, Microsoft, Tiffany & Company, Harley Davidson, and others. Guerra contrasts these companies to organizations trapped in mechanistic management models, doomed to organizational sub-optimization and decline. Guerra shows how the organization’s right and left hemispheres operate in a polar-complementary relationship between process and culture, which can be tuned to reach the higher fitness peaks at the “edge of chaos.”
If you’re interested in transformation at any scale, you will want to read this book–not only read it, but use it to catalyze your own transformation to Superperformance. It is no less than a recipe for revolutionizing business management.
“For all in search of Superperformance for their organization. Discover the value of great culture in partnership with great process.” — George Martinez, Former CEO and Chairman of Superperformer Sterling Bank
“Great! Dave Guerra shows how opposing forces in organizations can be reconciled to create new and powerful outcomes.” — Sivasailam Thiagarajan, CPT, President, International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI)
“Groundbreaking! Leaders, ignore this book at your own peril. Superperformance points the way out of the corporate death spiral. ” — Gregg Stocker, Author of The Corporate Death Spiral
“This is a great book. Dave Guerra has taken a very complex subject and made it very easy to understand. Most books like this provide examples so the reader can attempt to copy what others have done which doesn’t work. Dave Guerra provides examples AND explains the fundamental reasons why it works and how to apply the theory to any type of organization. Leaders of organizations have a responsibility to read this book!” – John Casey, CEO, CEO Netweavers
“Superperformance combines the best of systems thinking and motivational theory to create a profound method of organizational transformation that can be implemented on any scale.” — Jim Scully, President, Shared Services Institute, LLC
“This book validated something I have been suspecting for many years – most companies just don’t get it! More books should be written this way – easy read, gets to the point, well-researched, and actually has something new to say. Plus great illustrations. YES.” — Chris Biehl, Management Consultant
“An exciting new manifesto for business. Once in awhile a truly breakthrough idea comes along that can transform an entire domain. Superperformance is such an idea. Amazingly simple, the book proposes the emergence of a new management science entirely. If the only thing business leaders take away is the learning that organizations are organisms and not machines, this will surely start the chain reaction to Superperformance.” – Fernando Gomez, Healthcare Executive
“This is an excellent book for anyone looking to have a better understanding of the organism view of organizations. Dave’s assertions on how to achieve corporate “superperformance” by leveraging the process times culture (PxC=SP) model are right on. Too many organizations focus on the process side of the equation resulting in a disengaged workforce and thus, corporate underperformance. I was able to draw parallels between Dave’s corporate superperformance and my own work in software development. Dave’s views fall right in line with lean/agile software development views on just in time process and controls, continuous improvement through short development spurts called iterations, iteration reviews, team empowerment, team learning, and team ownership. It’s very exciting to see some of the transformations to superperformance that can be achieved not only by organizations following the principles outlined in Dave’s book, but also by software development teams utilizing the same principles.” – Alan Bustamante, Agile Project Leader, Waste Management
“This book really does have profound content. Dave Guerra does an excellent job in describing an organization not just as a process, but its people too. An organization must address people as individuals to get their commitment, creativity, and loyalty. NASA could have prospered from the organizational standpoint after the Columbia tragedy by putting in place the techniques described in this book.” — Ron Frye, Space Shuttle Engineer
“Reading the book Superperformance by Dave Guerra was an “ah-ha” moment for me. Dave did a great job of condensing the concepts that I have not been able to articulate but that I intrinsically knew to be true. Having languished under many corporate structures over my career that stress “projects before people” it was refreshing to see that Dave has accurately identified a methodology for exciting human passion, validating the contributions of the individual and utilizing state-of-the-art process tools to optimize a company’s performance. Practically-speaking, I’m involved as the President/CEO of two start-up companies and the powerful business/people framework described in Dave’s book is what I intend to implement going forward to create a different kind of workplace. I fully expect to see results commensurate with those he describes.” — David T. Schwartzel, President, CEO Solution
‘Superperformance is the Mantra for the new millennium. One of the most intuitive, lucidly descriptive and amazingly illustrative content … the HOLY GRAIL for Corporate Leaders in their Search of Excellence in this millennium. Delighted with the concept of SP consultants inside organizations and the constant mentoring/counseling provided to them thru your company and other similar beacons of enlightenment.” — BJ Jhaveri, Director, Opertions, BK Systems
“Attention CEOs! Have you been disappointed with the results of your million dollar, multi year investment in Six Sigma? Sure your black belts can demonstrate the potential of a great ROI and of course, the toolbox approach appeals to your engineering mindset, but can you answer one question with a resounding YES? Is every person in your company a super performer? As a long time proponent of leading from the middle, it pains me to concede that the CEO can change the culture of a company faster and more firmly than a troop of directors. Culture change is the secret. Stop rewarding the few for analysis and start acknowledging the masses for performance. Six Sigma gives you a toolbox. Dave Guerra helps you design a roadmap. Put those expensive tools in the back of the truck and start this journey” – Marilyn J. Zavatsky “Supply Chain Manager, National Oilwell Varco
“This book is a Superperformance. A welcome and long overdue departure from traditional approaches to management and leadership. The application of Dave Guerra’s novel approach, which combines improvement and complexity sciences, is sure to contribute not only to an organization’s financial and operational performance but also the satisfaction of its most valuable asset, its employees. A must read!” — RoseAnne Howland, Consultant, MFR Consulting
“A simple blueprint for becoming a superperformer. Dave Guerra’s Superperformance concept explains why organizational improvement efforts often fail. Guerra’s research shows that organizations are more like organisms than machines, with a powerful interconnection between process and culture. This “new management science” provides a valuable new holistic approach to understanding why some companies consistently out-perform competition, and how any company can improve performance by using the Superperformance transformation blueprint.” — Joseph Browne, Retired Executive, ExxonMobil
“Dave Guerra’s Superperformance stresses organizations must consider both process and culture-too much of either creates dissonance. The right balance-the sweet spot-which teeters on the edge of chaos allows the power of the individual and the culture to ignite. This causes individuals to feel empowered. One aspect that resonates throughout the text is the low cost of superpeformance; individuals innately need to feel appreciated and will freely perform at an increased rate when they genuinely feel valued. The key is to tap into the organization’s humanity and embrace the cultural side while maintaining a keen eye on process. Dave is a very articulate writer who clearly and succinctly describes complex ideas. The most powerful aspect of his book is that the reader begins to ask questions and has no choice but to think-a testament to the power and potential which lies within superperformance. This is a must read for those interested in human performance technology and anyone desiring to build their business aptitude and knowledge base.” — Alanda Pettit, Instructional Design Specialist, JP Morgan Chase
“This is an excellent book which I couldn’t put down. Congratulations to the author for his lucidity. Thoreau said, “life is too valuable to be frittered away, so simplify, simplify!” That was brilliantly done. A famous expert said “True value comes to those who can find simplicity on the other side of complexity.” David succeeds by providing a simple formula that everyone can use effectively starting immediately. He mentioned that the term ‘superperformance’ came to him in prayer. I believe that all superperformers tap into a higher intelligence for guidance and inspiration. For example, George Washington, the ultimate superperformer, believed in the power of prayer. He prayed for strength and fortitude to make the “Contintnetal Army”, a start-up organization of farmers and craftsmen, the superperformer that went on to win, against all odds, our independence from the strongest nation in the world at that time, Great Britain. Superperformers must come first before results. People tend to identify a cause through a person rather than through a concept or idea. That’s why George Washington (the father of our country) is revered even today for his integrity as the symbol of our fight for freedom with liberty and justice for all. Those who wish to enhance their performance in all areas of life should not only read, but apply, David’s concepts.” — James P. Hodges Ph.D., CEO, The Leadership Company
“This book provides the straight forward guidance on how to focus your organization to beocme Superperformers. It is not about the ‘individual contributor’ but rather about how the leadership needs to engage the individuals at every level of their company ensuring that both the culture and processes are in alignment. Fasinating reading with a great asessment to help companies assess their current environment. “ — Sally A. Barber, Global Business Development, Skillsoft
“I manage oil tankers around the world. The equipment, policies and procedures are pretty much the same on each ship. The crews are U.S. employees for Jones Act Trading, or foreign for international. There are considerable differences in the way ships operate, even within the same class of ship and same nationality of crews. How come? Why are some ships “bad luck boats” and some out performers? While Dave Guerra focuses on Superperformers within an industry, the same principles seem applicable to ships within a fleet and I would guess between different offices/plants/locations of any company. Sharing best practices doesn’t always work as one unit’s best practice doesn’t always work at a different unit. How does one explain this phenomenon, much less manage it?
Superperformance isn’t a big book, but it’s a big idea. You’ll want to reread it several times. You might also want to read the source material in the bibliography, much of which you have read before; but now will read with a different viewpoint.” — John Gore, Quality Manager, Marine Division, ConocoPhillips