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Commander's intent: putting fast, delegated decision-making at the core of high performance

How do high performance organisations address these competing truisms to deliver enduring competitive advantage? One concept we can borrow from the world of the military is that of Commander’s Intent as designed and perfected by the US Marines. We observed Marine Corps recruits being trained in this strategy at first hand during our research visit to their iconic Parris Island training base.

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Meaning: a key driver of improved performance

A client posed an interesting problem to us recently: “I have a team that is underperforming. But every time I try and push them to perform better it has the opposite effect. Their performance gets worse! What am I doing wrong?”

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Lessons from the coalface: four key high performance ideas for 2015

We conducted five research visits during 2014: to Toyota in Japan and Southwest Airlines in Dallas, both leaders in the world of business; to the Haiti-based operations of leading humanitarian aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF); to Finland, home to one of the world’s leading educational systems; and finally to Parris Island in South Carolina, the iconic base of the US Marine Corps’ boot camp.

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Calendar jam: unpicking key dilemmas at the heart of meeting overaload

It’s a familiar scenario: senior executives arrive in their workplaces at the beginning of the week to be greeted by a calendar filled wall-to-wall with meetings – often with double-bookings, and regularly with many of the same people moving from one room to the next. Their schedules leave no time to think, to connect with colleagues, or even to hang on to the last remnants of work-life balance. “Calendar-jam” is an increasingly common affliction of business leaders around the world.

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