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ATD Blog

How to Manage and Measure Performance in the 21st Century


Tue Jul 17 2012


(From Forbes) -- “We now know that you do well by doing good,” says Warren Cormier, the President of the Boston Research Group and one of the founders of the RAND Behavioral Finance Forum. “It’s not a theory – it’s a fact.”

The fact that Cormier refers to is groundbreaking research that delivers compelling data on how our organizations really work. The results presented in The HOW Report are derived from a rigorous statistical analysis of roughly 2 million observations by 36,000-plus employees in 18 countries, from the C-Suite to the junior ranks. It was developed by my company LRN and independently conducted by the Boston Research Group, in collaboration with Research Data Technology and The Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California.


The research examined how governance, culture and leadership influence behavior and impact performance. We’ve got good news and bad news to share. The good news is that, after having argued for two decades that principles and profits reinforce each other, the findings of The HOW Report prove this to be true: Companies truly built on purpose, guided by values and permeated with trust experience significant advantages over the competition.

These companies characterized as ‘self-governing’ scored the highest on every one of the 14 performance outcomes evaluated by the study:

  • 93% of employees at high-trust and truly values-based businesses observe financial performance greater than their competitors vs. 48% of those at strict top-down organizations.

  • Employees functioning in a high trust organization are 22 times more likely to take a beneficial risk – which, in turn, enables 8 times the levels of innovation as compared to the competition.

  • When it comes to loyalty, 92% of employees of businesses based on values and trust plan to be working for their company in a year, compared to 46% of those in strict top-down organizations. 98% would recommend their values and trust-based company to a friend vs. just 33% at strict top-down organizations.

  • 99% of high-trust and values-based companies observe highly satisfied customers vs. 42% of top-down organizations. Employees at high-trust, values-inspired companies are 92% more likely to observe high levels of innovation relative to the competition.

  • Further, in high-trust, values-inspired companies, only 24% of employees observed misconduct or unethical behaviors, compared to 47% in low-trust, non-values focused organizations.

Read more.

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