Deliver sustained organizational performance advantage - using lessons from the best

Understand how the best institutions in the world lead their fields, and learn how any organization can follow their examples to achieve long-lasting, winning performance.

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Latest Reviews

It’s hard to read a book when you are constantly stopping to take notes. The introduction and first chapter alone provoked my thinking about the ambitions of my own company and the strategies needed for success. I love this book. Each chapter is a true story about an organization and the practices and differentiators that led to its success. The organizations are highly diverse and while each is unique – most of us don’t instruct our customers to build and use pit latrines – there are commonalities that can be practised by all of us. Read this book. You will be inspired and compelled to take action.

- Susan Scott Founder of Fierce Inc and author of Fierce Conversations

The stories of a dozen great organizations from around the world – and what we can learn from their decency and vision, as well as their success. Recommended reading for any business leader.

- Hamish McRae Chief Economics Commentator, The Independent

Every now and again a new book comes along which really does add something new to our understanding of high-performance organizations. This is one of those books. A highly readable book offering real insight into how organizations become leaders in their respective fields.

- Jeff Grout business consultant, coach, speaker and author

About the Book

Powerhouse uncovers the performance secrets of some of the world’s most impressive institutions. Documenting the authors' first-hand study of 12 diverse global exemplars, Powerhouse provides a provocative insight into how top organizations consistently lead their fields.

Looking across these different, seemingly contrasting institutions, Powerhouse goes further - identifying common components of their models for winning, and providing a valuable, practical framework for any organization to achieve enduring high performance.

Powerhouse Approach

Powerhouse Principles

Clear description of what winning performance means for the institution, that pushes the boundaries of the its capabilities and track-record
Articulation of why the institution wants to win, that captures the imagination and aligns the interests of all
Scorecard of metrics – lagging and leading – that link directly to winning consistently over time. Showing performance and also creation of capability and capacity
High standards institutionalized and lived as a value. Fast, visible and consequential acknowledgment and management of performance
Narrow performance “distance” between highest- and lowest-performing individuals and teams, driving and maintaining the pressure to perform
Established practice of taking decisions as close to the action as possible, driving quantity and quality of decision-making and conversion of decisions into impact
Standards for what it means to be a member of this team, that convert into real, live behavioural expectations and norms
Strong, ongoing connection across institutions, their leaders, their staff and their stakeholders – enabling performance through shared understanding and commitment
Institutional capacity to avoid and address negative “shocks” to the system – anticipating events before they happen and dealing with the aftermath when things go wrong
Enduring commitment to learning and development that draws in particular from experience – enabled by a culture that is objective, constructive and development-oriented
Delivering performance through teams that reflect both the participants and the tasks in hand. Recognizing that sustained institutional excellence is a collective endeavour
Institution-wide focus on pushing performance boundaries. Building the capacity to “improve the rate at which we improve”

Powerhouse Model

Holistic, proven approach for driving organizational performance transformation.

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James Bowen

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James Bowen is an expert in strategy and organizational design and a performance consultant with 20 years of advisory experience. He works with executive teams of multinationals and mid-sized indigenous companies with the goal of step-change…

Brian MacNeice

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Brian MacNeice is an expert in high performance and a regular speaker on the topic. He advises blue-chip companies across a diverse range of industry sectors, and governing bodies in leading sports. Brian is also co-founder and Managing Director of…

Tools & Resources

Powerhouse Approach

Dig deeper into the Powerhouse approach for organizational performance transformation


Watch short snippets of the Powerhouse research and practice

Powerhouse Model

Powerhouse performance transformation requires working iteratively within and across four pillars


New insights and thinking on institutional high performance