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What do you look for in a car? Performance, amirite?
Many of us want a combination of several things in a car but one thing is clear, in its basic form a car must perform.
I wish I could consider myself a “car guy” but I can’t because I can’t afford them. I love fast, high performing cars. Each automaker has their sport package or luxury line of cars, trucks, SUVs and crossover vehicles – all with more letters after their names than a room full of HR professionals (SHRM-CP, SHRM-SP, PHR, SPHR, MLHR…etc, blah, blah, blah) such as GT, GTX, MDX, RX, TL, TLX, Q50, Z, CVT, AMG, RT and so on and so on.
Auto-Executives have had to overcome a lot to win back consumer confidence – remember the Auto-Bailout, the recalls and for GM the ignition switch tragedy. And right now, automakers like Kia and Hyundai are gaining ground on Ford, Toyota, Chevy and GM – mostly because of quality and performance.
One of my favorite cars is the Tesla Model S P85D, the hottest electric car around. They were once criticized for bad performance but no longer, now the Tesla can go from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds and has 691HP– that’s with no gas, people. Sales are soaring. Porche is developing their own electric car to compete.
Automakers have to constantly improve their performance standards to keep up with today’s consumer tastes and demands for performance. For example, Nissan is known for its 3.5 liter V6 engine, they use it in several models. The Maxima has had that same engine for decades but every couple of years Nissan figures out a way to make the car bigger, lighter, faster and more efficient with the same engine. For instance, The 2004 Maxima has 265HP, the 2009 has 290HP and the 2016 has 300HP. That kind of performance improvement is only achieved by paying attention to trends and pushing forward. But its not just about speed anymore. Cars are computers on wheels with wifi, blue tooth, navigation systems, auto braking, rearview cameras, automatic parallel parking, premium trims and audio packages, remote keyless entry and push button starters.
I contend that the same ongoing improvement and drive for higher performance needs to happens in the workforce. Most businesses have to adapt and improve with the times. Someone has to focus on getting better or you will fail. In HR, we have a love-hate relationship with performance evaluations – say what you will but, there needs to be a metric – a standard of performance, a way to document productivity (or lack there of). Someone has to set the performance standard and you can’t let it slide when employees miss the mark. HR can’t accept, “it can’t be done” or “that’s impossible” or “I can’t do that”. You have to find the best people, the best way and the best technology to help you drive performance.
Final note, when you drive performance – when you push yourself and your team to do the impossible, you will find that a lot of people will get on board to help make the impossible, possible. Turns out Jim Collins (Good to Great) is right, you just need the right people on the bus to help you with your goals.
Listen to Rihanna and just shut up and drive!