Before we work start working with clients we always do our due diligence to make sure we can add significant value to the business or person (and to ensure they are looking to take their high performance to the next level).
Interestingly enough we often get leaders tell us in the same breath that “our culture is absolutely high performance….it’s very fast paced”.
“Fast paced culture” does NOT equal high performance – it’s more likely high burnout
Now, we hate to burst their bubble but unfortunately this generally means that they are a high burnout culture rather than a high performance culture. True high performance means that the performance is sustainable and free from burnout. Fast paced does not suit everyone, and some of the highest performers we know are what we would call “slow paced”.
We are all built with different paces or attention spans. Slow paced people are the people who are naturally built to focus in longer spurts. They get their work done beautifully and well before deadlines if they are in an environment where they can operate to their natural focus time and without constant interruptions. Consistent interruptions will lead to consistent productivity declines for these people.
Basically their productivity and speed of getting things done will vastly increase when they are allowed to focus for longer.
A fast paced culture is only suitable for fast paced people
Now don’t get me wrong – fast paced people will flourish in a fast paced environment – they are generally highly sustainable, but let’s face it, it’s not possible to only have naturally fast paced people in an organisation or certain jobs just wouldn’t get done – at least not efficiently.
A high performance culture needs a “natural pace” culture
When fast paced people are able to jump between tasks, and slow paced people are allowed to focus for longer, the productivity magic happens. Everyone’s performance increases and that’s not the only good news – it’s even going to feel easier for everyone. So people will leave work more energised and more excited to come back and do it all again.
High performance culture often requires a change of belief
Interestingly enough it’s these fast paced cultures who think they are high performance that are unfortunately far from it. The good news is that we can help them to increase their efficiency and decrease their burnout. The bad news is that many of them don’t believe it’s possible to have both.