Howard Dresner touched on a crucial point in this book: before an organization can succeed, it first must create a culture that values performance, transparency, and accountability.
He said when he began work on his book, his intention was to capture and present best practices of performance management, but along the way, he realized that the missing element that determines success or failure really boils down to the notion of culture. Just as well that he decided to write about performance-directed culture, because he wrote a great and insightful book.
In the book, Howard explains the Performance Culture Maturity Model, a comprehensive model created by him to understand the way of organizations have taken in their search for better performance. The model has six dimensions and four levels of achievement, where the four levels of maturity determine how mature an organization is in each of six performance-directed culture criteria.
He used the Performance Culture Maturity Model as a filter to help select four organizations, and wrote well detailed case studies about them. He wrote one chapter for each organization, showing the issues and efforts to build and sustain a performance-directed culture, and also sharing their setbacks and successes.
I completely agree with his definition: “The performance-directed culture is a journey, not a destination.”
The book is an outstanding reference on how to build a culture of performance in the organizations, and is highly recommended reading for everyone involved with performance management.