There seems to be a lot of chat about cuts today, so we thought we’d better jump on the bandwagon! We actually like cuts, from a high performance perspective of course. When you cut stuff out that you’ve been used to, it really makes you start thinking about what matters most in helping you get things done. When you cut things out, it makes you think about making sure you’re the best at delivering everything you can with what’s now available. If you put all of the best formula one drivers in exactly the same car, with exactly the same set up, the only thing that would differentiate them would be their talent… their ability to drive the car under their control, as well as possible. Drivers would start asking themselves questions about how to get more out of themselves, rather than how to spend more money on the car to make it suit them better. When you cut things that you’re used to, the onus shifts directly on to you to be superb at making the most out of everything that is available.
We think a time of cuts is a time to start asking some basic performance questions and to focus the resource that is present on delivering maximum return for optimum effort. All of those questions should be focused on how you’re making sure that the human talent around you is focused on fulfilling potential, rather than just having it. All of those questions should be focusing the human talent on understanding what great looks like and having a plan for how to deliver consistently to the highest possible level. The questions get people thinking about their physical readiness to deliver. The questions get people thinking about the mindset that they need to promote in order to deliver. The questions get people thinking about how to make the most of the human talent around them.
Interestingly, for the most talented performers, they never wait for cuts to be the stimulus that encourages them to become the best version of themselves that they can be; they’re doing that already. They make cuts regularly to stuff that is a nice to have, but doesn’t actually make a significant difference. They make cuts regularly to outdated methods and ways of thinking, all so that their current talent can be exploited and kept relevant. These people will now excel in this streamlined environment, because they know that ultimately performance is up to them and they’re passionate about winning, whatever the circumstances… and they kind of enjoy winning even more when the circumstances are even tougher, because that’s when talent really show through.