Tom Wiltzius, Ph.D.
Gail Wise, Ph.D.
The Executive Brief 
Vol. 2, No. 1
February 2014

Sustained Success: It is People and Process.

In 2003, William Joyce and his colleagues published the groundbreaking book What Really Works: The 4+2 Formula for Sustained Business Success (HarperCollins).  Harvard Business Review published an article by Joyce et al. under the same title in July 2003. Joyce and his colleagues focused on eight processes, six of which, they believed, create the formula for success. Yet, over 10 years later, many executives still feel the struggle to get it right. While getting the process formula right is one step, it is still people who must execute the processes to achieve success. 


Three years ago, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer in "Creating Shared Value" (Harvard Business Review, February 2010) came closer to presenting an accurate understanding of how processes and people come together to result in truly sustainable business outcomes. Their thesis is very much worth examining. However, using this method, organizations can still fall short if leaders use only a process-driven formula when applying the shared-value concepts, ignoring the importance of culture and people.


Last year, Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones offered a more people-focused article we highly encourage our readers to review: "Creating the Best Workplace on Earth" (Harvard Business Review, May 2013). Their principle assumption, from our perspective, is that even with the right processes in place, it is the character of the culture that most influences sustained success. And our response? Bravo!

An effective culture is the key to
sustained success.

Their thesis:  authentic, transparent cultures, where leaders value people for their talents and allow them to commit to mission-justified opportunities without unnecessary rules, are the key to success.


Driving our agreement, in large part, are insights we gain by consulting with organizations where leaders wish to migrate from good to great and from profitable to meaningful, measurable, and purposeful work. It also comes from our experiences with organizations that tried to downsize their way out of trouble, shedding talent in a costly fashion, only to rehire comparable talent in subsequent months or years.


We believe that organizations should invest in the selection of people, the development of leaders, and the creation and maintenance of an effective culture. This investment should be just as important as investment in process deployment and capital equipment.  Such a commitment is essential to sustainable, long-term success.


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Optimizing Performance at the Organizational Level
Leadership Series from the UW-Oshkosh MBA Program
Thursday, Feb. 20, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
We are excited to be guest speakers of the UW Oshkosh MBA Leadership Series for 2013-2014. In this engaging program, you will:
  • Obtain a working model of optimal organizational performance.
  • Discuss the six macro-elements that require executive team and mid-management alignment and commitment to optimize organizational performance.
  • Conduct a projective alignment assessment of your own organization, based upon survey elements from the enVision Alignment™ Model.
  • Enjoy candid discussions where you will explore organizational performance strengths and barriers or gaps.

Tom Wiltzius, Ph.D.
Gail Wise, Ph.D.
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