Must-Read Book: USC Marshall Prof’s “Three Laws” for Increasing Performance

If you’re looking to create systemic change that will turn around your organization or take it to the next level, check out the new book by Dave Logan, professor of management and organization at USC’s Marshall School of Business. Co-authored by Steve Zaffron, CEO of Vanto Group, “The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life” focuses on how individuals and organizations can increase performance and is based in eight years of research in the fields of language theory, neuroscience and psychology.

The three laws are, in a nutshell:

1. How people perform correlates to how situations occur to them
2. How a situation occurs arises in languages
3. Future-based language transforms how situations occur to people

In essence, the authors have found that there is an element separating the facts of a business situation and our performance. That element is how the facts “occur” to people. “There are really two recessions,” Logan notes as an example, “One is the recession we read about in the paper””lost jobs, tight credit, falling consumer credit. The second is how those facts occur to people. Many chief executives I speak with are paralyzed by fear, seeing a crisis that will not end, a depression that will rob them of their security and over which they have no control.”

Logan adds that other chief executives he interviewed, seeing the same facts, come away with a different view. “They say, ”˜This is our opportunity to grab market share, shed parts of the business that haven’t pulled their weight, and come out the dominant player in the market. These two CEOs will behave differently, not because of the facts, but because how the facts “occur to them,” he says.

The book explains the laws that underlie this process, and steps that leaders can take to shift a workforce into high performance and re-invent themselves in the process. It also is a book that needs to be “practiced”…not just read.

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