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Performance-Focus

Performance-focus—as distinct from a job-focus—espouses a holistic perspective on performance. It takes into account job and non-job dimensions of performance. The job description by its definition covers the job role only. As I indicated in Chap. 6, significant non-job roles, such as positive mental attitude and enthusiasm, aren’t usually spelt-out in a job description. But non-job roles are of paramount significance to agile performance.

An agile enterprise is going to be fueled by positive energy; it’s is doubtlessly team oriented; it’s likely to stress employee development; and it’s continuously improving. These attributes are additional to the technical requirements of job tasks. An employee dedicated to performing these non-job roles is an asset to any business. Just as the customer-focused employee is in greater demand, so too, the employee prepared to perform these non-job roles.

Of the seven dimensions of agility, the two most apparent beneficiaries of a performance-focus are innovation and continuous improvement. Two of the four non-job roles directly relate to personal and organizational development—the career and innovation and continuous improvement roles. While the career role stresses personal improvement, the innovation and continuous improvement role underscores workplace improvements.

Within the new psychological contract framework, managers expect employees to contribute to workplace improvement. Job-focus as a value, on the other hand, de-emphasizes organizational improvement and development. The employee’s main responsibility is limited to carrying out their job specification to the best of their ability. Under the old contract, workplace improvement is considered the responsibility of management. And without involving all members of the organization, the speed of organizational development can be slower and less effective.

A job-focus can mute the speed of processing too. Concentrating wholly on their job, the employee is blase about opportunities to speed up work processes outside the realm of their work description. But in a culture that values total performance, the employee is more attuned to systemic issues beyond the scope of their job, such as improving the speed of processing.

 
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