Blog No.9 – Measure Climate, Improve Performance
Most people will recognise that there is still a long way to go in the world’s struggle to accommodate and end the Coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, many countries are making significant steps forward in starting to manage the ‘accommodate’ phase. In the UK later this week, we expect to experience the largest lifting yet of the constraints of these past three months.
So, it feels like a good time to be concluding this series of Blogs about Performance Climate System. PCS is the analytical tool which quantifiably measures organisational climate and maps it against leadership practise. It presents an actionable roadmap towards performance improvement via optimising both leadership and the climate it fosters.
Performing Throughout Lockdown and Beyond
When we started this series, given the unimaginable disturbance the Coronavirus pandemic had started to cause, it felt highly relevant to discuss how PCS could be a valuable tool to help organisations lead and perform through the ‘lock-down’ and beyond.
In the last couple of months, in some detail, we have defined the concept of organisational ‘climate’. Returning to the first blog introducing this series, I explained that PCS focuses on climate, as the: mood, feel and atmosphere within teams. We correlate climate with leadership, as its key input, and performance, as its primary output. The better the leadership methods and behaviours > the better the climate > the better the performance of that team. In other words, the climate value chain.
We then moved on to look more closely at each of the six main segments of the PCS model: Goals, Roles, Processes, Adaptability, Connection and Resilience. Each of these six segments comprise more granular concepts in what are termed ‘Focus Areas’. In looking at the tool more closely, you will find an additional layer of insight into a team’s maturity and performance: its stage of development (Dr Bruce Tuckman’s model) and the conflict mode (Thomas & Kilmann). PCS also sheds more subjective insight into a team’s climate via a set of free text questions that invite participants to comment on various aspects inside and outside the team.
Everything I have described here draws together the analysis produced by running a single PCS survey on a team. The survey comprises an online questionnaire, undertaken by every member of a designated team and takes as little as 5 minutes.
The subsequent results are debriefed either by PCS Practitioners (for PCS Pro) leading to improvement actions or interpreted directly by the team leader (for PCS Lite).
A single PCS report is useful to shine a light on areas of high-performance and areas requiring support. However, PCS is far more effective when deployed repeatedly over time and scaled across an organisation in order to benchmark leaders and teams and to steer efforts in the right direction, alongside normal organisational change and business as usual evolution.
In exploring PCS further, you will find that it has been developed and refined over 20 years and used over 25,000 times around the world.
PCS and Getting Back on Track
If (actual) climate change wasn’t sufficiently on everyone’s agenda before the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic struck; it certainly is now. If (organisational) climate change is one of many repercussions of the pandemic for us all to be thinking about – Performance Climate System is a smart, proven and relatively non-invasive way of measuring your organisation’s climate. By measuring team and organisational climate, PCS assesses leadership methods and builds an actionable roadmap towards improving performance and resilience in the future.
You may be actively thinking about how to optimise performance in the ‘new normal’ we are all looking towards. You may be seeking to drive efficiency and performance during what are likely to remain very challenging market conditions. You may be grafting hard at getting things back on track as we emerge from lockdown. Or you may simply believe that the ongoing improvement mindset is a value worth exploring from every angle. For whatever reason, should you wish to know more and explore how PCS could specifically benefit your organisation, don’t hesitate to connect with me directly, or with any of the Performance Climate System team.
 Tuckman B (1965) “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups” Psychological Bulletin 6
 Thomas KW, Kilmann RH. (1974) Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument