People First, THEN Performance



You can’t get to performance without people.

Often, we seek out new leadership models, new approaches to innovation, new decision-making frameworks in organizations in hopes that we will help our people do their work smarter, faster, more effectively. Often, we do so at great expense, and at great risk.

What we tend to overlook, however, is the role people play in performance.

It’s far easier to send people to training, to have them adopt a new approach, or to change the way they do things than it is to embrace the incredible complexity of the humans in our organizations.

But that’s precisely what we must do.

How well do you know the person sitting in the office next door? What about in the office across the hall, down the hallway, across the courtyard, and at that off-site location? What do you know about them beyond their job title? What about the people you pass in the hallway every single day?

Why do they do what they do?
Who are they when they’re not at work?

True performance, GREAT performance, happens when people trust and rely on each other. Training, approaches and strategies are important, but get supercharged when we factor in the humans in our organizations.

It’s our job to build practices and environments that focus on people and relationships as much as processes. It’s our job to navigate the complexity of this task, knowing full well that while it may not be an easy sell in the c-suite, it’s where true performance begins.


Originally posted on


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

Add new comment

Please enter the text you see in the image below: