How to build a High-Performance culture (in remote conditions) during a worldwide disruption

Larry Olsen October 12, 2020

Building a High-Performance Culture During Disruption

Performance-driven neurology has been at the forefront of my decades-long coaching of Fortune 500 executives. So, for me, it was natural to expect that companies would start to adopt a high-performance culture.

A high-performance culture has been documented to result in drastic shifts in company productivity and revenue performance.

But most organizations approach the adoption of high-performance in a structured way. They generally have the luxury to evolve over time.

Not so in this current economic climate.

Change needs to happen fast and under worldwide disruption.

With the move to remote working environments, many businesses are seeing some benefits of the new paradigm. But they are also struggling to capitalize on these benefits. They didn’t have a high-performance culture to start. Now, leaders in these organizations are finding it even more difficult to create one with such severe disruptions to what was “normal”.

So how do you create a company culture that supports high-performance, high-achievement, and engaging associates’ mindset under these conditions?

How to create a high-performance culture that supports remote working

Working from home is the new norm. Many Fortune 500 companies are indicating that they will not be quick to return to the office. Google has indicated that they will extend work-from-home until summer 2021. Twitter has gone even further. As their CEO, Jack Dorsey, indicated in a company-wide email, they’ll allow employees to work from home “forever”.

Many smaller organizations have adopted a similar stance for their companies as well – extension, blended, or full remote.

How do you develop a culture of high performance in situations like these? Especially when many C-level executives are still attempting to use in-office methods to manage their teams?

To help manage this change at the height of disruption in most businesses, here is a simple game plan to start the process.

It’s a long-term plan

Forget the idea of “how things used to be done” and look forward to adapting to change.

Disruption is often the perfect time to sow the seeds for a brighter future. It allows you to assess the current culture, determine what’s working, and take necessary steps to fix them.

As part of your long-term plan, investment in high-performing managers is critical. And bolstering their coaching capabilities focused on achievement acceleration allows you to engage leaders that are driven – an important aspect of a culture moved by performance.

Leaders are critical to the process

Team members are more likely to grow and increase productivity if they’re coached appropriately. Leaders need to be good coaches in the truest sense of the word. Leaders who know how to motivate and empower without micromanaging often receive better results from their associates.

Motivation for change is necessary

In my book, Get A Vision and Live It, the common motivator is normally a threat. But this has long-term negative consequences and doesn’t result in performance-driven motivation. The motivation for change that works requires information that’s perceived as having value. Getting the drivers for change right will result in company-wide acceptance of a shift to high-performance.

You need to lay the foundation

Associates feel empowered when they can relate their role to the goals and values of the company. Therefore, they need to be provided with a clear vision and focus that allows them to align themselves with the organization.

A values-driven culture is better prepared for disruption. The right persons in management with the right background and training in performance management help support this process.

Ensure continuous monitoring and improvement

Accountability is a key aspect of building this type of culture. So, in addition to holding leaders accountable for improvements, associates need to be empowered to be accountable as well. Then, monitoring and improvement can thrive in an environment of growth.

Companies need to get it right, and fast

Without establishing a high-performance culture geared towards achievement, you will be faced with a loss of productivity. There is also the possibility that associates will leave and that’s a loss of top talent. Motivation to perform at a high level will be minimalized. Many companies are currently being affected by this reality.

But in disruption, there are always new possibilities of growth. And igniting company culture starts with shifts in your C-level management team. For more information, contact us at

high-performance culture