How we help Transform Performance

Whatever issues you are facing, leadership is probably the cause and the solution. Real World Group can help you find your way to address your challenges and maximise your opportunities.

Click on the links below to better understand what might be the root causes, and how we can enable you to address them.

Your managers are competent, but they are not leaders

One of the most fundamental issues people regularly fail to understand about leadership is that it is far more than being “competent” at the task at hand. Put simply, managers organise people and resources. Leaders do this, plus they motivate and inspire people to go the extra mile.

When you believe that you have more “managers” than “leaders”, it is likely that you are missing key leadership behaviours in your selection and promotion criteria, and in your everyday expectations of your people.

Your managers could be great leaders, and your effective leaders could be even better than they currently are. All you need to do is create the opportunity to for them to reflect on how they are currently perceived, and understand the simple but proven behaviours that leverage performance through increasing motivation, satisfaction, commitment, fulfilment, and reducing stress.

Real World Group has assisted numerous organisations in this way for the past 15 years. By providing inspiring, expert advice, as well as 360-degree feedback and coaching, we have seen managers quickly become leaders, whatever their professional background.

Contact us to find out more about how we have helped organisations effectively tackle this issue, and to discuss how we can help you, too –

You have reengineered your business processes to increase efficiency, but the results are disappointing

The major reason why changes to the way people are expected to work fail is because organisations don’t pay enough attention to the wider culture in relation to how “ready” people are.

The old adage of “people always resist change” is very much a myth. In fact, research shows that people only resist change when they feel that it is detrimental to them and their circumstances, when they are unclear of what it will be, or when they are unsure about what it will mean for them.

The good news is that there are teams, departments, and organisations that actually have high readiness for change – in other words, they are ready and willing to contribute their ideas to innovations, and keen to embrace them. Want yours to be one of them?

Whether you are thinking of implementing LEAN, SAP, merging, or undertaking some other form of major change, starting by taking a temperature check and ensuring that your leaders enhance or adapt their behaviours to facilitate this change will make it much easier and more successful. If it’s too late, and the change has been implemented, or is in the process of being implemented, don’t worry – we can still help.

Real World Group has developed a range of assessment tools that enable you to find out whether teams, departments and organisations have got the right culture to enable them to embrace and successfully implement change.

They have been proven to create greater engagement and productivity through major change, at the same time as enhancing wellbeing and positive attitudes to work so that they come out stronger and more efficient than before. You can use the outcomes of the assessment to move your culture to one that is ready and able to embrace the future.

Contact us to find out more about how we have helped organisations effectively tackle this issue, and to discuss how we can help you, too –

Your managers fail to excite people, and secure their contribution and commitment to the organisation

Let’s start with the good news – it is now widely accepted that being able to motivate and inspire others at work is not the exclusive preserve of charismatic people. In fact, everyone has the power to motivate and inspire, they just need to understand how.

Real World Group research into Engaging Leadership shows that the differences between managers who are uninspiring, and those who are able to motivate people, are simple, everyday behaviours. For example, spending time finding out what employees get stimulated by, assisting them in developing their strengths, going out of their way to provide meaning in what they are expected to perform. In other words, performing the simple behaviours of an engaging leader.

It is easy to build a business case for encouraging these behaviours – who doesn’t see a benefit in inspiring others to go the extra mile for them? With our help you can provide them with the guidance on how to be this kind of leader, benefitting themselves as well as the wider organisation.

The bad news is that too few people are selected or developed along the lines of motivating and inspiring others. Take a look at our range of 360-degree feedback tools to help you transform the leaders you already have. Our new selection tool, the Performance Leader Identifier, will help you enhance your selection of new leaders so you can make the right hiring and promotion decisions in future.

Contact us to find out more about how we have helped organisations effectively tackle this issue, and to discuss how we can help you, too –

You have an issue with talent management or succession

It is increasingly accepted that effective talent management needs to be “business as usual” in organisations. Aside from the challenges of new generations and more demanding employees, smart organisations know that if they want to engage and retain their best people, they need to provide them with ongoing opportunities to develop. This benefits both the employee and the bottom line, by liberating strengths and increasing satisfaction and fulfilment – thus enhancing engagement.

When organisations treat talent management as something that is only available to specific individuals identified as “high potential”, they waste the effort of, and risk de-motivating the 95% of others who do not fit this criterion.

Creating a culture where talent management is something that all managers and leaders are involved in is not complex. It involves re-educating those who don’t believe it is their responsibility, and encouraging and rewarding those who do. The activity required to manage and leverage talent may be somewhat of an inconvenience to managers who focus exclusively on their own tasks at hand, but the benefits over time mean that such managers get even more from their employees, thus making their own working lives easier.

The behaviours and competencies that create a culture of talent management are simple and common sense. You just need to create the space and legitimacy for your leaders to enact them.

Contact us to find out more about the benefits of improving talent management and developing individuals and culture in your organisation.

Your teams are not acting like teams

Effective teams rarely grow organically within organisations, so if you find that your teams are not acting like a collective, you are not alone. In fact, effective teams engage in specific behaviours that enhance their performance as a group, and they monitor how they work together on a regular basis to ensure that they remain effective.

Effective teams become so as a result of the interaction of inter- and intra-personal behaviours such as trust, social support, appropriate use of each others’ expertise, constructive challenge, and more. While the list of factors to consider is significant, they can be described and enacted simply.

The first stage of moving a team from ineffective to effective is holding up a mirror to them, so that they can understand how they perceive themselves, and how they are perceived by others within and outside the organisation.

Real World Group has conducted extensive research that demonstrates the team behaviours that have not only been proven to enhance performance, but that increase the engagement of individuals within the team, and their engagement with other individuals and teams. We apply this in team development workshops and have created unique 360-degree feedback tools for teams to apply to enhance their effectiveness.

Contact us to find out more about the unique diagnostic instruments and team facilitation techniques that you can use with your teams to move them towards much greater effectiveness.

Your Board is perceived to be ineffective

Boards of Directors occupy a somewhat contradictory place in the world of organisations. While it is widely accepted that they have the biggest single influence on the effectiveness of the organisation (or its demise), they are rarely provided with opportunities to develop either as individuals or a team. It is also notable that they tend not to have their behaviour scrutinised other than by (usually remote) shareholders.

While shareholders (or in the case of the public sector, government agencies) can monitor direct performance outputs with relative ease, they have little sense of the extent to which the Board is performing effectively, safely and sustainably on a day-to-day basis.

The corporate scandals of recent decades such as the collapse of Enron, and the ongoing banking crisis have demonstrated that individuals in the most senior positions in organisations need to be subject to scrutiny if the organisation is to remain sustainable. Never before has robust governance been regarded as so important to secure.

Effective Board performance relies on three key factors:

  • The Board being competent in its various roles in directing and governing the organisation
  • The Board being engaging in its leadership style, so that it is able to influence employees to get the work done, and lead beyond boundaries where appropriate
  • The Board acting as a team, rather than merely a collective of leaders who join each other for scheduled meetings.

The only way that a Board can get a true sense of whether these three factors apply to them is if they systematically gather feedback from those they seek to influence, both within and outside the organisation. They need to be provided with the space to surface and address difficult issues in an environment where there is a sense of safety and ability to challenge each other.

But first, it is crucial to build the business case for change, by showing your Board what they are risking through lack of effectiveness, and how they could benefit personally, collectively and organisationally.

Real World Group has been working with Boards for many years to help them envisage their potential, increase their effectiveness, and help ensure sustainable performance going forward. Our extensive, proven research has been translated into a 360-degree feedback instrument for Boards, which enables them to appreciate how they are viewed and how they can improve their effectiveness both with each other and the wider organisation. We also have an Executive Team version of this instrument which can be utilised when Non-Executive Directors are not part of this process.

Contact us for more information about how we can help you enhance your Board’s effectiveness, or to discuss previous successful Board interventions.

Your colleagues are stressed and overworked, but there is no end in sight

First the bad news:

  • Employees feeling overworked, often due to diminishing resources and increasing demands, is here to stay (and perhaps set to get worse)
  • Stress is highly contagious from one employee to their colleagues
  • The most stressful aspect of a person’s job, regardless of sector, level, or other factors, is their immediate line manager.

But there is good news:

  • While globally, feelings of being overworked are generally increasing, there remain teams, departments – even organisations – where the concurrent negative feelings are significantly less marked, or absent
  • While the most stressful aspect of a person’s job tends to be their line manager, this individual can also have the most incredibly powerful positive impact on their employee too, depending on how they behave. Yes it is true that people leave their line manager, rather than their organisation, however, people will stay with an organisation under the most adverse circumstances when their line manager engages them
  • The behaviours that lead to engaging people, reducing their stress, and creating a situation where they want to stay and give their most are simple, and anyone who wants to can learn and adopt them.

Helping organisations like yours to create cultures of leaders who have a positive impact (and address the negative alternative) has always been a major activity for Real World Group. 

Contact us to find out how we can help you work with individuals, teams and your whole organisation to move you in the right direction, even while environmental factors remain difficult and unchanged.


You don’t understand why diverse people seem unable to progress in your organisation

Your organisation might have all the right systems, processes, and procedures in place but you find you still can’t create or sustain a diverse, engaged workforce. You may even have invested heavily in training for managers and others on the key issues, but still you find you aren’t achieving positive results. 

We can help you find a way through this situation. First of all, bear in mind that it doesn’t mean that these factors aren’t critical, so you are part-way there. Organisations without the basics are usually far worse. However, “basics” is the key word – they are not the full solution, and don’t work on their own. 

Time and time again, what is not working within organisations, and what makes all the difference when things are working, is everyday behaviour. This is certainly the case with diversity and inclusion. You need to: 

  • Understand what the day-to-day behaviours are that create the positive culture you seek
  • Assess individuals and the culture against the ideal
  • Examine your selection and assessment criteria against the key behaviours
  • Monitor on an ongoing basis whether or not they are part of “the way we do things around here”.

Real World Group’s experiences with organisations prove that when you enhance the behaviours that increase diversity and inclusion, you also increase the general engagement levels and performance of all employees in your organisation. 

Contact us to find out more about how we have helped organisations leverage sustainable diversity and inclusion at all levels, or to discuss how we can help you, too


You know something is not right about the organisational culture, but you can’t put your finger on what it is

Organisational culture is a complex thing. Not only are there multiple facets that can either positively transform or inhibit peak performance, but it is experienced differently throughout. 

Not only can cultural perceptions differ by department, but they can also vary by role, site, team, personal demographics, and other factors – not to mention level. It will probably not surprise you that one fairly consistent finding is that the most senior managers in an organisation tend to have markedly more positive perceptions than everyone else. 

While systems and processes can certainly have a strong influence on culture, the behaviour of colleagues, particularly leaders, has the most marked effect. Therefore, when you are attempting to analyse what cultural factors are enabling, or inhibiting, performance, you need to examine both. 

Crucially, though, you need to start by focusing people’s attention on what really makes the difference in their experience. Far too many culture surveys focus almost exclusively on the basics – health and safety, frequency of performance appraisals, engagement benchmarks at their most simplistic level, and systems of working. 

While these are undoubtedly important, they will not enable you to understand and appreciate the nuances of everyday experience that are truly making the difference between those employees who are enabled to perform, and those who are dissuaded or disengaged from contributing to success. 

Not only is this information critical to everyday sustainable success, but it can make or break whether you are able to implement new systems and ways of working that you know will increase efficiency. 

Most important of all, you need to gather the right data to persuade those people with the most influence over culture (the most senior managers) that there is a business case for change, and provide them with clear information about where and how it needs to happen. Opening their eyes to the reality of their organisation, and giving them the data they need to feel empowered to transform the culture to one of greater performance, is essential. 

Let’s not forget the positives that exist too. Surfacing positive experiences, teams and departments, and harnessing these “positive deviants” for the benefit of everyone is an important part of enabling culture change. 

Real World Group has been successfully working in cultural transformation at team, department and whole organisation level for the past 15 years. 

Contact us to find out how we can help you build on your positives and address your development needs by getting in touch with how your people truly experience your organisation.

You don’t know if your leadership interventions are working

One of the best kept secrets about leadership development is that few people really know whether it has any impact. However, they spend thousands a year acting on what is essentially “a feeling” that it is needed, in a particular way, in their team or organisation. 

You probably don’t know whether your leadership interventions are working because you have never had the opportunity to systematically assess their impact in a robust way. If this is the case, you are far from alone. But the good news is, this type of evaluation can be conducted in simple or complex ways, to suit your timescale, depending on the level and type of data that you would like to gather. 

Findings from organisation development research show that few organisations go beyond the basics of assessing participants’ reactions to specific training and development events, fewer go as far as assessing whether learning or behaviour change has taken place as a result, and hardly any assess whether the intervention has had any meaningful impact on the organisation. 

Real World Group leadership interventions are proven to work at individual, team and cultural levels, as demonstrated through various published articles and case studies. We can also assist you by working as an independent, well respected source of evaluation expertise to partner with you to assess the effectiveness of interventions you have undertaken, or are planning to undertake. 

Real World Group’s team of published organisational psychologists will work with you to plan the right design – one that is focused on the outcomes you want to measure, and which is the right balance of rigour and not being too administratively onerous for your colleagues and you to undertake. 

For more information about the type of evaluations we conduct, or to discuss your needs, please contact us.