Symbiont Performance Group, Inc
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Performance consulting focuses on helping organizations increase productivity by strategically linking individual performance improvement to enhanced organizational results. As performance consultants we provide expertise to help organizations identify individual performance requirements necessary for attaining organizational goals and work to uncover and overcome the underlying reasons for any performance deficiencies. We work collaboratively with management to employ methodologies to identify gaps between current and desired performance and recommend appropriate initiatives for bridging those gaps. 

Our approach focuses on improving the personal performance of individuals at all levels of an organization from the lowest level worker to that of the CEO.  In doing so, we address a wide range of elements and factors within an organization that can have a direct impact on individual performance.  These elements and factors fall into the three general domains of people, processes and strategy.  Performance consulting is not simply about improving workers’ knowledge and skills. Rather, it looks at the entire range of organization functions that impact individual worker performance. 

Knowledge and skills are frequently the first area of focus for performance improvement initiatives, but regrettably, frequently the wrong place to start.  When people are perceived by supervisors to be performing below expected levels, the deficiency is often characterized as a training issue” and the organization’s training function is called in to implement a learning initiative to “fix the problem.”  Training can often play an important role in a performance improvement solution, and there certainly will be times when it is the preferred solution.  Frequently, however, training is an inappropriate solution, and an effective situation analysis would show that the root cause of the identified performance deficiency is not one that can be effectively corrected by training.  Even if the underlying cause is a knowledge/skills issue, it may be some other aspect of the knowledge management continuum other than training that deserves attentionmore about Knowledge Management 

Model for Organizational Performance 

The overall level of an organization’s performance can be described in basic terms as  the cumulative impact of three general operational components—people, processes and strategy—on the organization’s critical business assets. 


Critical Business Assets 

An organization’s critical business assets comprise the primary means or resources employed to develop and deliver the products and services that customers buy. Examples of critical business assets can include tangible elements such as raw materials, equipment, buildings and natural resources as well as intangible assets, often referred to as intellectual capital, such as proprietary technology, patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other specialized knowledge. Critical business assets usually define the very nature of a business.  They are to be leveraged through expert professional management by individuals who are specialists in the specific critical assets of a particular enterprise.  An organization’s strategy, processes and people capabilities must be effectively designed and developed to take maximum advantage of an organization’s critical business assets.  Additionally each of these three elements needs to be aligned in a manner that is mutually supportive and complementary.  Performance consultants can provide critical insights to help organizations accomplish this objective.


The contributions of the people who run an organization are central to the organization’s overall performance levels. The abilities demonstrated by an organization’s workers are reflected by the sum total of their inherent talents plus the knowledge, skills and attitudes that workers bring to a position or develop on the job. The abilities of workers can be categorized as an organization’s human capital and is the source of an organization’s creativity and innovation.  Human capital is usually considered to be an intangible asset to organizations because is difficult to evaluate and quantify so it never appears as a line on a financial statement.  As a result, it is often undervalued and ineffectively managed, much to the detriment of overall organizational performance.  

Unlike tangible assets such as buildings, equipment and money, human capital is always owned by the individuals who possess it, and can “walk out the door” unless it is recorded in some tangible form, or is incorporated into organization's procedures and structure through knowledge management systems.  Well-designed initiatives for maximizing the contribution of an organization’s people can significantly increase and preserve their contribution to business results. Performance consultants improve organizational results by focusing on ways to improve the performance outputs of individual workers and the specific organizational processes that directly and indirectly affect them. 


An organizational process consists of a series of tasks, operations or functions through which and within which work activities are carried out in organizations. Processes focus specifically on how work is done within organizations and encompass both formal and informal policies, procedures, and practices that pertain to particular organizational functions. Processes can be organized into five general categories:

  • Operational Processes - processes that describe an organized series of  progressive steps, tasks and actions required for the execution of core organizational functions and jobs (e.g., a manufacturing process).

  • Business Processes - processes that describe the policies and procedures for how an organization interacts with customers (e.g., sales, order processing).

  • Leadership Processes - processes that govern the implementation of activities relating to an organizations leadership and the management of its people (e.g., strategic planning, reporting structures and human resource policies and procedures.

  • Support Processes – processes that provide organizational support services for the overall effective operation of an organization (e.g., accounting, training, information technology services). 

  • Cultural Processes – informal processes consisting of collections of values, beliefs and behavioral standards shared by people  within an organization that control the way they interact with one another and with outside stakeholders. 

Processes, whether integral to a particular job or ancillary to it, that are not properly organized and managed to support optimum worker performance can be significant contributing factors to sub-standard organizational results. Mandated reports for example, may be unnecessarily cumbersome or even totally unnecessary) and time-consuming, and time devoted to completing them may detract from valuable work time that could be more productively used otherwise. The same can be said for meetings that may be of very limited value to many of the attendees. It is often difficult for managers to accurately assess the reasons for a lack of desired organizational results because they may be intimately involved in one or more of the elements impeding worker performance and are unable to see the forest because of the trees so to speak, and/or may have vested interests in keeping things as they are. Performance consultants bring objectivity and an outside perspective to the workplace. 


Strategy can be defined as the effective application of a limited set of resources in a clearly defined manner through specific activities to achieve organizational goals. Strategy defines what an organization aims to achieve (vision) and the manner and approach it will employ to achieve it (mission).  It may also include elements relating to organization values and behavioral norms.  

Strategic behavior generally involves doing different things than competitors or doing similar things in a different way to gain an advantage. It is usually viewed within the context of outperforming the competition but can also be applied to overcoming obstacles of a non-competitive nature that stand in the way of success (e.g., avoiding a potentially costly union strike).  An effective strategy is critical to effective organizational performance because it articulates an organization’s plan for overcoming the challenges presented by external factors such as competitive activity, market characteristics, economic conditions and government regulations. Additionally, effective strategy embodies the aims and focuses of organizational processes and characterizes the attitudes and values of its people.  Helping organizations plan, develop and execute effective strategy is a major focus of performance consulting. 

Model for Performance Improvement 
The organizational performance model described above focuses on the impact of the contributions of people, strategy and processes on an organization’s critical business assets as well as the impact of these factors on each other.  Strategy and processes clearly are important elements of an organizational performance equation.  However, it is an organization’s workers (people) who ultimately deliver the organization’s results.  While, strategy and processes in and of themselves clearly have major impacts on the success with which critical business assets are managed, they can also indirectly influence the performance levels of an organization’s people. Therefore, elements of strategy and process must be factored into any performance improvement strategies for individual workers.  The following performance improvement model effectively captures this concept. 


The role of a performance consultant is to help organizations enhance their overall business results by improving the productivity of its people.  Through the use of the performance improvement model described above, performance consultants can categorize the elements that drive performance into those that are contained within the individual  worker—personal performance inputs and those that emanate from the work environmentorganizational performance inputs which can have either a direct or indirect impact on worker productivity.

Personal Performance Inputs 

Personal performance inputs comprise factors such as knowledge and skills, attitudes, personal goals and motivation.  These factors individually and in combination, are the principle determinants of the quality of individual worker performance.  While it is almost universally recognized that a worker’s employer has at least as much responsibility for the development of worker knowledge and skills as the does the worker, inputs such as an employee’s, attitude, motivation and personal goals are usually considered to be the sole responsibility the worker. The realization that organizations can and should also focus on these elements can bring about a dramatic positive change in overall organizational results. 

Organizational Performance Inputs 
The inputs affecting worker performance that derive from the work environment (the organization itself) rather than from within the worker can generally be categorized as being elements of either strategy or processes. As depicted in the Symbiont Performance Improvement Model, strategy and processes can influence the level of individual worker productivity as well as having a direct impact on organizational results.  Example of organizational inputs would be worker selection and training (processes) and the level of worker empowerment (strategy).   learn about the “success formula” 

D.I.AL.O.G. Organizational Assessment Instrument

Successful organizations are continually looking for ways and areas to improve in order to gain a competitive advantage.   We know that the interrelationships between the various processes within an organization are important determinants of overall success.  When an organization's processes are aligned with organizational strategy, the needs and aspirations of its people and with each other, the greater is the probability of success.

D.I.AL.O.G. (Data Indicating Alignment of Organizational Goals) is an organizational assessment tool that provides information as to how well critical elements of process are working together to business strategic goals.  It also helps identify elements that are working against an organization's objectives.  Our approach is unique in that we measure the interrelationships of critical elements which serve as predictors of future strength.  D.I.AL.O.G. focuses on relevant activities to identify ways to generate improved organizational productivity. more about D.I.AL.O.G

The Symbiont Performance Consulting Process 

The following represents our basic approach to a performance consulting project:

Assessment Phase

1.      Identify organizational performance objectives

2.      Identify required worker performance competencies

3.     Identify required worker & organizational best practices

4.       Identify worker performance and best practices gaps

5.      Perform gap-analysis on current personal inputs to worker performance

6.    Perform gap-analysis on current organizational inputs to worker performance

7.    Determine the causes of personal input and organizational input gaps

8.    Generate learning sponsor buy-in to assessment findings

Intervention Development Phase 

1.      Develop personal (worker/people-focused) performance improvement initiatives 

2.      Develop organizational (process/strategy-focused ) performance improvement initiatives

3.     Generate management support for intervention plan

Intervention Implementation Phase

1.       Set intervention priorities

2.       Generate target group intervention buy-in

3.       Deliver performance improvement interventions

4.       Measure and assess intervention impacts 

Please contact us for details about our performance consulting capabilities and to request a no obligation performance needs assessment.worksheet  860-283-9963 |



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