How to Expand Human Performance

The speed of business is accelerating. Bigger problems. Bigger opportunities. Faster and more instant communication through texts, tweets, instagram, multiplied by millions of users contribute to the demand for more rapid decision making.

The problem is – complexity can be paralyzing. Complexity retards analysis, leads to poor decisions and erodes performance results. When the human mind is pre-occupied with facts, analysis and evaluation we make poorer decisions about everyday things. In a 1999 study titled, Heart and Mind Conflict: The Interplay of Affect and Cognition In Consumer Decision Making1, students were asked to memorize a number and report when they successfully completed their task. Once completed, students were rewarded with a choice of snacks. The research question focused on the decision making process for students with either a complex or simple memorization task. Some students were asked to memorize a simple 2 digit number, some were asked to memorize a more complex 7 digit number.

In the study, a majority of students with a 2 digit memory task chose a healthy snack compared to a majority of those with a complex memory problem who made unhealthy choices. In post evaluation surveys students making healthy choices reported a cognitive process–they thought about their decision. Students with the more complex memory problem reported their snack selection was based on emotion–they didn’t “think” at all. The obvious conclusion being,  pre-occupation left no bandwidth for solving new, albeit simple, problems. The mind was paralyzed and unable to engage more data, thinking, analysis or decision making.

So, with a world that is rapidly becoming more complex and with our computing bandwidth already functioning at maximum capacity how do we successfully meet the demands of modern business leadership and operation? Henry David Thoreau inscribed the answer on a piece of wood at Waldon Pond. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

While Thoreau advocated a simpler life style, my human and organizations performance company advocates the use of systems as a way to expand individual and organizational capacity. Over the last 30 years we have discovered some secrets about creating successful systems. Using these tools we have been able to help our clients achieve astonishing results over long periods of time. We help our clients increase productivity like we did for Black Tree, where they increased their client base by more than 200% in just 5 months. New revenues like we did for Lee Houghton at YESCO, where within 3 months of implementing Griffin Hill, he was able to break two YESCO Outdoor Media records. One being the highest number of deals closed within a month and second, the highest value deal closed in the same month. And shortened sales cycles like we did for Equinox IT Services, where we shortened their sales cycle, from 18 months to 4 months. These astonishing results are produced by employing Griffin Hill’s systems for sales and achievement. In sales, our clients learn and skillfully use our Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System™. In strategy and individual performance it is the Griffin Hill Strategic Impact System™ and SMARTER™ goals.

The secret to building systems that reliably expand the human capacity for problem solving and personal achievement is the use of process, plays, metrics and coaching. Repeated complex problems can be minimized to a process that reduces the need to puzzle over problem and solution. For example getting a sale is a complex problem that sales people wrestle with many times each day. But once a successful template is discovered, it can be refined and used over and over again. The template or the process rapidly duplicates successful results. Just like in athletics plays can be practiced refined and improved. In sales, plays advance the process. A sales person willing to learn and rehearse can hone their professional skills every day, just like a professional athlete. Metrics are used to test the process and the plays to make sure the sales person is getting the desired result. Metrics identify strengths to be leveraged and areas for improvement. Coaching, or feedback from an expert, insures rapid and continuous improvement.

As you deal with potentially paralyzing complexity in human performance and problem solving, consider systems for predictably and successful results. If you include process, plays, metrics and coaching you will be on the right track. Systems will help you to expand the limits of personal achievement and solve bigger problems at a more rapid rate. The result will be greater respect and bigger financial rewards.

To learn more about strategic impact systems that strengthen organizations, go watch our Success! Pyramid video. Also, feel free to comment below and let us know how Griffin Hill systems have help you reduce complexity.

1Baba Shiv. Heart and Mind Conflict: The Interplay of Affect and Cognition In Consumer Decision Making, 1999 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Retrieved from

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