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Dynamic performance management: how to deliver more, with less, forever

Octavius Black (Managing Director and co‐founder of The Mind Gym, London, UK)
Debbie Marshall‐Lee (Solutions Director of The Mind Gym, London, UK)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 12 July 2011




The research is unequivocal: when it comes to return on equity, revenue growth, profitability and employee turnover, performance management can deliver remarkable results for next to no investment. However, in most companies, performance management has a poor reputation. It takes up valuable time and resources, yet delivers little return. The reason is simple: managers focus on forms, systems and processes. What they need to focus on is the quality of their conversations. This paper, which is a concise version of the authors' in‐depth white paper, aims to highlight the five key ingredients that lead to dynamic performance conversations.


Over 50 independent academic studies were analysed, and leaders in a dozen leading businesses were consulted. The authors also draw lessons from The Mind Gym's ten years of work with 40 per cent of FTSE 100 companies.


Five vital ingredients for dynamic performance conversations are: stretching goals with fortnightly feedback; consistent differentiation; commercial coaching; job crafting; and employees taking responsibility.

Practical implications

The authors share a “ready reckoner”, developed for organisations to discover how they fare at the five ingredients. The authors explore simple yet powerful ways that managers and individuals can put these five ingredients into practice.


The paper gives individuals, line managers and HR professionals clear, practical advice on where to focus their effort so that they realise the full personal and commercial benefits of dynamic performance management.



Black, O. and Marshall‐Lee, D. (2011), "Dynamic performance management: how to deliver more, with less, forever", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 43 No. 5, pp. 275-282.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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