Beyond Performance summary- why just performance is not enough for successJust 6 min read

In this Beyond performance summary, I will share some critical insights found while reading the book.

Scott Keller and Colin Price wrote Beyond Performance; based on extensive research by both authors in management, this book shared insight on how organizations can stay fit for the future?

In Beyond performance summary, You will get a brief idea.

  • What is the secret to achieving organizational excellence and sustaining it?
  • What resource will you need to build an organization that can gain an advantage in the short term and prospers in the long term?
  • Why is the health of an organization equally crucial as performance?

What are the key takeaways from the Beyond performance summary?

Why should you read this book?

Beyond performance, the book will give you a different perspective to think beyond organizational performance management.

Many books in the market studied top companies and their organizational culture. Books like Build to Last and In Search of Excellence. Unfortunately, many of the organizations mentioned in the books or other research will fall flat in 20 years.

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If you observe the list of Fortune 500 companies that made to list now, they will not be even there in the next 20 years.

What happens to these organizations? Why do they fall flat in the future? 


Research in Beyond Performance states that one of the reasons could be that these organizations focus excessively on managing performance instead of taking strategic views toward performance and organizational health.

How can leaders make rapid and significant scale changes and develop a high-performance culture?

The short answer to this question is to focus on performance management and the Health of the organization.

Beyond performance summary PDF

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Why is a performance not enough?

To understand why performance is not enough? First, let us know the meaning of Performance and Health.

Performance is what an enterprise delivers to its stakeholders in financial and operational terms, evaluated through net operating profit, return on capital employed, total returns to shareholders, net operating costs, and stock turn.

Health is an organization’s ability to align, execute, and renew itself faster than the competition to sustain exceptional performance over time.

So for the organization to sustain itself in the long run, they need to manage the Performance and Health of the organization.

What are the five frames of performance and health?

Leaders can follow five performance and health frames to bring significant and mutually accepted changes to the structured process.


Five frames of Performance and Health are five questions.

Aspire: Where do we want to go?

Assess: How ready are we to go there?

Architect: What do we need to do to get there?

Act: How do we manage the journey?

Advance: How do we keep moving forward?

 In this Beyond performance summary, we will briefly see these five frames.

Aspire: Where do we want to go?

Performance: Setting strategic objectives

Companies need to set a starting point, enabling them to place their aspiration right. Organizations, while setting objectives, must consider the medium-term future, facts, and intuitions and set up achievable goals.

Health: The Four Archetypes

Based on the research of McKinsey, the Author states the four archetypes can be used as the foundation on which an organization can build long-term aspirations.

The four archetypes 

  • Leadership Driven
  • Execution Edge
  • Market Focus
  • Knowledge core

Assess: How ready are we to go there?

The organization needs to assess the capabilities and mindset that are currently present, or they may require to fulfill aspirations.

Performance: Determining the capabilities that matter.

At this stage, the organization should answer that question.

What capabilities will we require to reach our aspirations? And what is the current status of these capabilities?

Health: The discovery process

At this stage, the organization’s Health will discover the needed mindset and behavior to be changed?

Architect: What do we need to do to get there?

At this stage, do organizations know what they want and their capabilities? So now, they are gradually moving towards the resources needed.

Performance: Identify the right set of initiatives that is required

There is a tool called portfolio initiative in this book for this process, where you put a list of probable initiatives in a grid of time and familiarity.

Health: The influence model

In this stage, organizations identify interventions required to influence the mindset necessary for achieving objectives.

The influence model includes.

  • A compelling story
  • Reinforcement of mechanisms
  • Skills required to change
  • Role modeling

Act: How do we manage the journey?

Change is a long-term journey; at this stage, organizations need to devise models, plans, and processes to keep the engine running.

Performance: Choose the suitable delivery model

Always run two pilot tests to understand proof of concepts and evidence of feasibility to make change sustainable.

Health: Creating the change engine.

Beyond performance, the book provides a tool to manage energy at the execution stage. This change engine includes.

  • Structure
  • Ownership
  • Evaluation

Advance: How do we keep moving forward?

Organizations need to develop, create, and invest in infrastructure to keep moving forward with change.

Performance: Continuous improvement of infrastructure

Companies need to work on systems of sharing knowledge, processes to identify opportunities, and methods to facilitate continuous learning.

Health: Centered leadership

At this stage, the main requirement for Health is the correct type of leadership. The organization needs leaders with resilience and emotional capacity to improve themselves as and when required.

What is the role of the senior leader?


The role of the senior leader is always crucial for transformational change.

They need to make transformation meaningful, be a role model, build the team and relentlessly pursue impact.

While playing the above roles, the senior leader must balance Performance and Health, which does not allow bias against anyone.

In this short Beyond performance summary, I tried to cover the crucial topic.

If you are keen to learn about transformational change in the organization and looking for great case studies, buy this book.

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