Is 2012 going to be an Olympian Year for you?

Tom Peters and Bob Waterman were the first people to link the concept of Excellence with business way back in 1982 in In Search of Excellence. They and their McKinsey colleagues, Richard Pascale and Tony Athos, operationalised this thinking in the still-famous 7-S model (Structure, Systems, Strategy, Shared Values, Style, Staff, Skills).

Many of the ISOE concepts remain relevant today, but in the intervening years, much has changed in the world of business. For example, it’s hard to believe that Information Technology got not a single mention in the book! And of course it was long before the internet crashed into our lives and changed everything. These days employees are less compliant and more opinionated than their ‘mustn’t grumble‘ predecessors of the 70’s and 80’s; customers demand more and more for less and less; and competition has become truly global. The current global economic crisis seems to be bringing this turbulent era to an anxious climax. Who knows what the next era will bring?

Tom has continued reflecting on the changing  world in his speaking, writing, blogging and (more recently) tweeting. In TPC, we decided our contribution would be to create an Excellence Operating model that would help people to convert Tom’s ideas into action. Like the 7S model, our Future Shape of the Winner™ Excellence model also has seven elements. But unlike 7S, we position people (‘Talent’ in our terminology) at the core of the model.  Leaders that manage to get the best out of their people have somehow managed to get the right balance between those various elements for their own situation.

To accompany our Excellence Model, we have a measurement instrument called the Excellence Audit™. Users rate themselves against our 50 Excellence Characteristics, and identify areas for future improvement. The definition of Excellence that is produced is therefore unique to each customer, as is the improvement agenda they create.

Reactions from users of the audit have been very positive, with some admitting that simply completing the audit was a useful experience – even before they saw their results. Here’s what one of them recently said:

“Just rating our company against the 50 Excellence characteristics helped me to become more open minded, to have a more ambitious picture of what we had to do to “reach excellence”, and to see how things were out of balance.” Fernando Marazón, General Manager, Grup MH, Barcelona

For the first time in our history, TPC is delighted to have an affordable tool that we can offer to any leader of any team, large or small, anywhere in the world. Participants complete the survey online, and results can be delivered in many formats. We also have a growing cadre of independent consultants around the world that are authorised to use this material with clients.

The start of another year is a great time to use this tool. As we look ahead to 2012, what are the challenges that you face?

  • How ready are you/your team for what’s ahead?
  • Are your people engaged enough in your plans?
  • Are you stretching your ambitions as far as you can?
  • Are your relationships with your people as good as they should be?

If you answered “No” or “Not Sure” to any of these questions, maybe the Excellence Audit can help you? Take a look at sample statements from the Excellence Audit on our Excellence Audit Lite, and contact TPC ( to find out more and get a quote.

Here’s wishing you a happy holiday season ahead and a successful 2012!