The Three C's

Delivering to Commercial, Customer and Culture for Sustainable High Performance.

  • Commercial

    Because every organisation needs to be commercially responsible now and in the future!

  • Customer

    Because sustainable performance requires continuous improvement of value to the customer!

  • Culture

    Because delivering to commercial and customer outcomes requires safe, secure and satisfied employees!

Introduction

High Performance Organisations

“We are in the middle of one of the most profound shifts in human history, where the primary work of mankind is moving from the Industrial Age of “control” to the Knowledge Worker Age of “release.” - Stephen R Covey

For centuries people have organised themselves into collective groups. We all know that when we work together, it is possible to achieve more security and satisfaction than we can alone as individuals.

But, somewhere in our pursuit of higher-performing organisations, this intuition got lost in favour of a focus on cost and efficiency. Multiple business and economic failures led to a new drive toward consumer satisfaction. A focus on creating more consumer value has proven to be somewhat successful. However, many implementations of approaches like Six Sigma, TQM, Quality Circles, Lean, TOC and Agile have failed to deliver the expected results.

As we move out of the ‘Industrial Age’ and into the ‘Knowledge Age’ there is a slowly emerging understanding that we need to listen to our intuition. We need to create environments where we can work together, learn from each other, bring our contribution to the table and achieve greater collective satisfaction.

Sustainable High Performance is achieved by creating a synergy between increasing Consumer Value, providing a Culture that is safe, secure and satisfying for employees, and maintaining Commercial Responsibility.

High Performance through Engagement

Engagement is when the people closest to the consumer are directly and actively involved in solving problems that hinder the performance for that consumer.

High Performance through Engagement is when those people who are closest to the consumer use, as a matter of habit, analytical problem solving tools and structured processes to identify the root cause of problems, find solutions to those problems and then implement quickly to increase value to consumers.

High Performance through Engagement is a strategy for developing a work system that: 

  • is consumer-focused
  • uses analytical problem solving processes like Interest Based Problem Solving, the Theory of Constraints Thinking Processes and design thinking
  • meets the interests of all stakeholders
  • has open and real-time information systems
  • is performance-driven with continuous improvement metrics
  • is employee-based and relies on the discretionary effort of employees
  • has a management system that facilitates and releases intuition, knowledge and experience from employees
  • is focused on building constructive thinking, behaviour and cultures
  • has an emphasis on training, developing and growing people
  • is innovative, dynamic and flexible


There are multiple ways to build this work system. 

Your organisation is unique because the people in it are unique. A high-performance work system must be customised and designed for your organisation by the people in your organisation. In most cases, it can be funded within the existing resources of the organisation.

High Performance through Engagement is not for everyone. It requires “courageous leadership” (think Brené Brown – Dare to Lead) and a willingness to embrace a new way of operating.

The benefits of High Performance through Engagement are increased customer loyalty, increased financial performance and a culture of innovation and growth. There are numerous case studies published by both the private and public sectors as well as multiple University studies of the impact of adopting a High Performance through Engagement approach. The evidence is overwhelming that the improvement in performance that comes from a culture of engagement substantially improves the overall operating performance of an organisation.

The Strategy

A people focused organisational strategy

An HPtE Strategy® is an organisation strategy that balances commercial responsibility, consumer value and culture to create sustainable high performance. It deliberately creates a culture of collaboration, innovation, confidence and achievement. This cultural change is needed more than ever in a fast-changing, complex, variable and global work environment.

Some of the key methodologies include:

  • Systems thinking (e.g. Interest-Based Problem-Solving and Theory of Constraints Thinking Processes),
  • Continuous improvement practices (e.g. Agile, Lean and Six-Sigma),
  • Collaborative budgeting,
  • Culture and behavioural assessments (e.g. Organisational Culture Inventory®, Organisational Effectiveness Inventory®, Group Styles Inventory™, Leadership Impact® and Life Styles Inventory™).


An HPtE Strategy® goes beyond the traditionally separated commercially driven, continuous improvement or culture-based initiatives. Companies that pursuit an HPtE Strategy® do one thing significantly differently than other companies. They leverage the power of collective problem solving to deliver the needs of shareholders, consumers and employees.

Access to the whole picture

"The Whole Picture" is a resource for our clients. We help you customise this content for your organisation so that your HPtE Strategy® becomes a reality.

High Performance through Engagement

Learning and Resource Centre

  • 1

    Welcome to the HPtE Learning and Resource Centre

    • How to use this resource

    • What do we mean by High Performance through Engagement?

    • Is a High Performance through Engagement strategy right for your organisation?

    • Benefits of High Performance Engagement for an Organisation and its People

    • How to fund High Performance through Engagement

    • How to deliver a High Performance through Engagement Strategy

    • What role does an external consultant play?

    • About the Employment Relations Centre

  • 2

    High Performance Organisations

    • Sustainable Performance

    • The 3 C's - A business Strategy

    • Commercial Responsibility

    • Customer Value

    • Culture and Performance

    • The Challenge - Balancing the 3 C's

    • The Solution - Balancing the 3 C’s

  • 3

    High Performance Cultures

    • What is culture?

    • How to measure culture?

    • How culture works?

    • The impact of culture

    • High Performance thinking and behaviour

    • Human needs in the organisational context

    • Deliberately Developmental Organisations

  • 4

    High Performance through Engagement

    • Key concepts in High Performance through Engagement

    • Governance, Leadership and Infrastructure

    • The role of Unions

    • Developing an Improvement Strategy

    • Setting up Improvement Teams

    • Group Effectiveness

    • Decision making

    • Facilitation

    • Developing internal capability and protocol

  • 6

    High Performance Work Systems

    • Customer focus

    • Structures

    • System Metrics

    • Analytical problem solving

    • Information systems

    • Management systems

    • Development and growth focus

  • 7

    High Performance Tools

    • Introduction

    • Collective problem solving, systems thinking and learning organisations

    • Interest Based Problem Solving

    • Getting clear on the Current Reality - The CRT

    • Painting the Future Reality - The FRT

    • Dealing with conflict - The Conflict Cloud

    • Achieving Ambitious Goals - The Pre-requisite tree

    • Implementing Solutions

    • Measuring outcomes (Commercial, Customer and Culture)

  • 8

    High Performance Leadership

    • What is High Performance Leadership?

    • Command and Control or Facilitate and Release?

    • Fear based Leadership - Leading for Compliance and Control

    • Daring Leadership - Cultivating Commitment and Shared Purpose

    • Leadership feedback and Development

    • Effective Leadership Behaviours

    • Complexity and human development

    • Leadership Impact

    • Leadership Competency

    • Leadership in an HPtE context - Organisations and Unions

  • 9

    High Performance Structures

    • Organisational structure

    • Hierarchical systems

    • Collaborative systems

    • People systems and Performance metrics

    • Job design

  • 10

    High Performance Accounting

    • Traditional budgeting

    • Collaborative budgeting

    • Funding improvements within current resource constraints

    • Finding and creating capacity for improvements

    • Throughput, Inventory and Operational Expense

    • Getting improvement outcomes to hit the bottom line

    • What to do with new capacity - the key to sustainable performance

  • 11

    The HPtE Strategy® and Model

    • Understanding the Concept - Introduction

    • Understand the commitment – Exploration

    • Test how it works in your organisation – Proof of Concept

    • Commit to a charter and structure – HPtE Charter, HPtE Governance and HPtE Leadership

    • Identify improvements – Engage with workforce

    • Establish Improvement Teams – HPtE Implementation

    • Embed principles into business as usual

  • 12

    High Performance Facilitators

    • The role of Facilitators - External and Internal

    • Identifying Facilitator candidates - External and Internal

    • Facilitator Training and Development

    • Facilitator Behaviours and Impact

    • Leading complex problem solving

    • Utilising 'resistance to change'

    • Our Facilitator Community

  • 13

    Additional Resources

    • Eliyahu Goldratt - Theory of Constraints - The Goal, It's not Luck, Critical Chain

    • Robert Kegan - Immunity to Change, Deliberately Developmental Organisations

    • Peter Senge - Learning Organisations

    • Peter Block - Stewardship, Abundant Communities

    • Brené Brown - Vulnerability, Dare to Lead

    • Elliot Jaques - Requisite Organization

    • Luc Hoebeke - Making Work Systems Better

    • Fredrick Laloux - Reinventing Organisations

    • Developing Positive Employment Relations: International Experiences of Labour Management Partnership

    • Healing Together - The Labour-Management Partnership at Kaiser Permanente

  • 14

    Case Studies

    • Utah GOMB - SUCCESS Framework

    • General Motors - TIP Program

    • WiseTech Global - TOC

    • Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions - LMP

    • Air NZ - HPE

    • KiwiRail - HPHE

    • NZ Ministry of Health - HPHE

    • Tuwharetoa Health Service

    • NZFOA - Simplifying Health and Safety in the Forestry Industry

Principal Consultant

Your partner in delivering a High Performance through Engagement Strategy

Principal Consultant and Director

Karl Perry

Karl Perry is a well respected Facilitator, Thinking Coach and Consultant. He is also a skilled Human Resource, Employment Relations and Organisational Development practitioner. Karl has been consulting and coaching since he founded the Employment Relations Centre in 1997. He has helped thousands of individuals, teams and organisations achieve more of their personal and collective goals through the development of high performance behaviour, engagement and cultures. If you want better working relationships contact Karl and book time for an introduction .

Client Feedback

A small sample of feedback from satisfied clients

Karl has a unique and extremely valuable skill set within the philosophy and practical implementation of High Performance Engagement

Patrick Behrendt - Air New Zealand

I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working alongside Karl as we introduced a more collaborative workplace across Air New Zealand. Karl has a unique and extremely valuable skill set within the philosophy and practical implementation of High Performance Engagement. He has rich and real capabilities in this space to think and engage strategically with internal and external stakeholders, build effective and improved working relationships, and facilitate workshops & training sessions across all levels of complex organisations. His toolbox and methods, combined with his deep understanding of human and organizational psychology, enable him to be a trusted & impartial partner and advisor. I would absolutely recommend Karl to any organisation serious about creating a High Performance Engagement workplace.

Having worked with Karl now on several different projects ...

Ian Gower - Air New Zealand

Having worked with Karl now on several different projects, I can highly recomend him when methodical unbiased problem solving, team development coaching or Collective Agreement Negotiations are required. The experience, methods and tools Karl uses, help break down the issues into a clear and concise picture, without the conflict we have had in the past. The time spent "Setting the Scene" with Karl, will greatly reduce the overall time it would normally take to work through problem solving or negotiation. Once again, I highly recommend Karl as your next business mentor, coach or facilitator.

Air New Zealand is empowering employees through collaborating to resolve problems ...

Kym Amiatu - Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is empowering employees through collaborating to resolve problems or identify opportunities with those who are closest to the problem/opportunity. As part of this change a number of working groups have been put in place with multiple (union/employee/employer) team members. I have used Karl to facilitate problem solving sessions and collective agreement negotiations. Karl has used interest based problem solving and interest based negotiation techniques during these sessions. Karl has an energising facilitation style, he quickly judges the mood of the participants and their abilities and adjusts his facilitation style accordingly. Karl has a range of frameworks and methodologies he uses to manage the inputs and interests of the stakeholders, resulting in a successful outcome. I continue to engage Karl for his facilitation abilities and feel confident in recommending him to others.

Our Association has used Karl’s facilitation/problem-solving services with a diverse group of members ...

John Stulen - NZ Forestry Owners Association

Our Association has used Karl’s facilitation/problem-solving services with a diverse group of members from our industry who originally could not see their way to a relatively simple solution. It is a credit to Karl’s expertise and practical experience with the process that we were able to identify the problems and begin work towards better outcomes.

There are a limited number of facilitators endorsed to provide assistance with collaborative problem solving within Air New Zealand ...

Sarah Williamson - Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is working towards being a more collaborative workplace. As part of this change a number of steering groups have been put in place with multiple (union/employee/employer) team members, and a number of new ways to problem solve issues have been introduced. One of these is an interest based problem solving technique. Karl was engaged to provide facilitation to enable stakeholders to work through an employment issue that had been around for some time. There are a limited number of facilitators endorsed to provide assistance with collaborative problem solving within Air New Zealand. Karl brought to the table a range of frameworks and methodologies to tussle with the issue, managed the inputs and interests of the stakeholders, resulting in a successful outcome. I would confidently re-engage Karl in the future for his facilitation abilities.

Karl is able to remain a neutral and impartial facilitator while guiding the parties through sometimes complex and emotive problem solving...

Dawn Handforth - NZALPA

Karl has been consulting to NZALPA since July of 2013. NZALPA recommended Karl to Air New Zealand when they were seeking external High Performance Engagement facilitators in late 2014. He was the highest scoring candidate and has successfully facilitated a number of challenging issues using the HPE approach including the establishment of a HPE Jet Pilot Steering Committee, a base closure (involving multiple union parties) and a number of complex contractual issues. Moving from a traditional combative and conflict-based relationship toward a more collaborative approach is not an easy task. Karl is able to remain a neutral and impartial facilitator while guiding the parties through sometimes complex and emotive problem solving.

Karl's excellent facilitation skills and ability to see the big picture and keep us on track not only made the numerous sessions we had enjoyable, but extremely valuable ...

Steve Worsley - Coachio Group

I worked with Karl whilst at the Department of Labour. We used his skills to facilitate some developmental workshops in respect of how we could apply our services to SME's and how we could contribute to improving productivity within the businesses we worked with. Karl's excellent facilitation skills and ability to see the big picture and keep us on track not only made the numerous sessions we had enjoyable, but extremely valuable. He had the ability to quickly grasp the needs of our organisation as well as gain a good understanding of our role. This enabled him to facilitate in a very effective and professional manner and we all benefitted from his expertise. I would look forward to working with Karl again.

Karl is a results oriented, dynamic business leader and coach ...

Alexandre Medarov - University of Auckland

Karl is a results oriented, dynamic business leader and coach to his team and the cross functional teams he supports. Karl is incredibly professional in all of his interactions internally and with customers and partners. Karl is engaged, close to the business and conducts business with a unique blend of technical and business savvy. Karl is the ultimate team player and skillful at balancing the needs of the customer with the needs of the business to find mutually acceptable solutions. Everyone who interacts with Karl finds value in the interaction.

The program was sufficiently successful that it has spread to other parts of the organisation ...

Stephen Whiteside - University of Auckland

I've very much appreciated working with Karl on the Human Synergistics Framework to support development of constructive cultures in my teams. The program was sufficiently successful that it has spread to other parts of the organisation. Karl was a very strong coach, was very systems driven, and focussed on the programme outcomes. I'm pleased to recommend Karl.

People, People, People

He aha te mea nui o te ao? What is the most important thing in the world? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.