Monday, April 12, 2010

Performance Coaching

When I was trained as a performance coach by UNDP, I was introduced to a concept that I think makes a lot of sense. Let me share it here. The question asked was where do the coach pay his attention in a big group of people? The argument goes like this. The top 5% are movers and shakers, they dont need your help. In fact they are probably doing better than you. The next 10% already have forward momentum, so they need little help, if any. Then you come to the next 20%. They are stuck because they are short of a few ingredients to move. The coach places his efforts here. For with some effort from the coach, some added ingredients, this group will move up. Making new space.

For the 65% of the group unaccounted for, the top 5% of the bottom 65% now have space to move up. They feel motivated by the forward movement and they want to move too. And so there is upward movement from the whole group.

What happens when you place your energy on the bottom 65% first? The coach burns out. No matter how much energy you put in there will be no movement. Or it will take 1000 pounds of effort to produce one ounce of movement. Same thing. Burn out. They are stuck for a reason. Think on this.

This also applies in business. Reality check.


  1. Using this analogy, where is Malaysian chess?

  2. Good question. Sometimes I write about things that come into my head while chatting with someone. Maybe there is relevance. Not sure.

  3. A bell curve problems...Never easy to address a large crowd with wide learning abilities.

    In above scenario i am not sure but from my job (banking) experience, we are trained to focus on top 5 'movers and shakers' that could contribute 80% of revenue! :)

    ofcourse this top 5 will contribute to 80% of losses :(

    Sorry, a comment not related to chess

  4. :) Np. That is why I feel, character, values and ethics are important, together with the ability to make things happen. Otherwise as you correctly pointed out, the direction becomes one of net loss.