Updated: July 19, 2021

Sustaining High Performance With Total Organization Poise Development

Organizational development for sustainable high performance is focused on the total organization and creating effective synergy within it. In particular, it involves using robust organizational development tools and technologies to keep all key organizational systems and subsystems in top condition—and in interdependent alignment—for effective synergy. This is the essence of total organization poise development—and it is at the heart of sustaining desired organizational leadership and culture.

Power of Poise in Operation!

The power of poise can be phenomenal in both living and non-living systems! People achieve a far greater performance when they are physically, mentally and emotionally vital than when they are physically, mentally and emotionally sick.
When an automobile is in top condition—all cylinders firing, all mechanical parts in sync, and all the peripherals and accessories are mint—what do you expect to get from it? When a motorway or freeway is spotless and the asphalting is of excellent quality, how would your ride be? When all parts of an organization—the various systems, structures, technologies, processes, roles, relationships and resources—are in top condition for the competitive situation of the organization, won't the probability of it achieving its strategic goals be high?
In all the above cases you would expect the best outcomes possible. You would expect that the automobile would be efficient and give a good account of itself. You would expect a pleasant, albeit, a near perfect ride on the freeway. And you would expect the organization to excel in its mission, and attain organizational leadership and effectiveness.
Each of the above cases represents a situation when the system is in total poise—its parts are wholesome, in equilibrium, in the best condition, and there are harmonious functional interdependencies of key systems or subsystems.

The Concept of Poise

To understand a phenomenon, a first principle is to examine its elements. Then, to consider its essence based on the relationships of those elements.
There are some words that facilitate our understanding and appreciation of the concept of poise. For example, wholesomeness, wholeness, integrity, strength, vitality, dignity, alignment, equilibrium, synchronization, and synergy are some of the ideas that go into an understanding of poise.
It is often the case that a commonly used concept often loses its essence but becomes better appreciated when we consider its opposite or what obtains when it is lacking. This is the principle of reversal in operation. Thus, the essence of poise could be seen from its absence. In fact, a far lot more could be appreciated when we apply this reversal method to the concept of poise. Such words or phrases as: tension, confusion, disturbance, chaos, uncoordinated condition, unrelaxed condition, lack of composure, and risk aversion, tend to show what lack of poise represents.
If you pursue this process further, how many corporate executives would not feel fulfilled when their organizations exhibit strength, wholeness, integrity, and drive? When you add alignment of all roles and resources with the strategic thrust, synergy of skills and systems, and the wholesome equilibrium of the subsystems in the strategic situation you'd be approximating an excelling organization that could stand the competitive fire of these times.
On the obverse, which corporate executives would believe their organizations could excel when the following conditions afflict their systems, processes and resources: tension, confusion, disturbance, chaos, uncoordinated condition, unrelaxed condition, lack of composure, and risk aversion?

Block Quote

Total organization poise results from a deliberate nurturing, empowering, aligning, and positioning
of all the key organizational systems to be the best they could be
in order to give the best they could give.

What Total Poise in Organizations Is

Total poise is critical to personal as well as corporate success—on a sustainable basis. In fact, an organization could attain some measure of success some of the time with what we see as partial poise. In an organization, total poise obtains when all the key organizatinal systems and key people are well-optimized and positioned for organizational excellence, and breakthrough organizational leadership and performance.
The power of poise could produce phenomenal effect in organizations. This is more the case in organizations that concentrate on developing and marshalling total poise, seen here as a condition where all the key systems of an organization are in their best forms and are fully optimized to give the best they could give on a sustainable basis.
An organization could accomplish breakthrough performance and approximate excellence on a sustainable basis when all its systems—particularly its managerial, integrating and social systems, which drive, coordinate and align all the other systems—are in top condition. This is critical to long-term corporate success. Indeed, addressing total poise in organizations is an enduring challenge but an ultimately rewarding enterprise.

Sustaining Breakthrough Organizational Performance

The ultimate challenge facing top management in a pulsating business environment is how to achieve and sustain total poise for breakthrough organizational leadership and performance.
Total organization poise results from a deliberate nurturing, empowering, aligning, and positioning of all key organizational systems to be the best they could be in order to give the best they could give. Far too often—and for too long—an organization would focus on certain systems to the detriment of others.
Too often, and until very recently, many organizations focus on outcomes rather than the means, drivers, and processes. In fact, had they focused on total poise—which enables all systems to deliver the potential they are capable of delivering—they might have achieved a quantum leap in overall performance, not during a particular fiscal year but for the long-haul. When there is total poise in an organization, the organization would be in a position to attain breakthrough performance on a sustainable basis.
The hard truth is that the nature of today's competition is beyond technology, but what drives technology, creativity and innovations—the superior essence of the human mind and character. This is where the competition will be—and is being—won or lost! Therefore, complacency with using the equations and formulae that brought success in past decades could be detrimental, if not fatal to sustainable high performance today, and in the foreseeable future.
The mission, the goal, and the strategic thrust of efforts at sustaining desired organizational culture, leadership and performance should be to keep organizational systems in top conditions, foster empowerment of people's actualizing attributes, and optimize harmonious functional interdependencies across business units and systems. It involves using robust organizational change and development tools, technologies and techniques to imaginatively facilitate the effective synergy of personal excellence and organizational excellence in the context of the organization's mission and competitive environment.

Fundamental Questions for Passionate Top Executives

Top executves who are passionate about breakthrough organizational culture, leadership and performance in their businesses should raise some fundamental questions to gain insight on—and advance—total poise development in their organizations. The following, and similar questions, should be explored and addressed by corporate executives who are passionate about their ultimate business mandate, that of creating the future of their organizations today. Acting on such questions would invlove such top executives taking imaginative steps towards total organization poise development.

  1. What aspects of 'poise' and 'total organization' are critical in your organization's competitive situation?
  2. How do we arrive at consensus on 'total organization poise' across the business?
  3. How do we drive organizational commitment to total organization poise development?
  4. What organizational development framework are we going to adopt?
  5. What process technology could we use to make organizational change and development programs fit for purpose, while optimizing effective syenergy of people's actualizing attributes and excellence of organizational systems?
  6. How would we factor cultural values and principles promoting organizational poise into the performance management systems?

About Author

About the Author

Dr. Oladele Akin-Ogundeji, a first-class organizational development specialist, and public service management and state governance consultant, is based in Lagos, Nigeria. He holds Ph.D. of the University of London. He leads the OD Synergy team and coordinates ODSynergy.Com. He has more than 40 years teaching, research and consulting experience. He also coordinates BetterPoise.Com, promoting people's capacity to be on top of their world and attain sustainable self-fulfilment.

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Sustaining High Performance With Total Organization Poise Development Article

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