Improve Your Company’s Performance Using the Science of Human Behavior

Executive Summary

  • Learn more about how the science of human behavior really works and you’ll discover significant opportunities to improve your company’s operational performance and financial results.
  • Opportunities to improve your company’s results are often overlooked because current results are “good enough.”
  • In Moneyball (book and movie) one of the overlooked statistics was on-base-percentage, Every team had ignored this statistic (and others) for 15 years before the Oakland A’s used them to improve their team performance dramatically. They used these overlooked statistics to build a competitive advantage that lasted for years.
  • What overlooked measures of performance are you and your competitors overlooking?  Hint: Our expertise in the principles of human behavior has revealed several overlooked opportunities to build significant competitive advantage.
  • In this article, we present 10 Psychology of Performance principles that you can use to improve your company’s performance. You will learn about them below, but, just for clarification, you will find no references to concepts such as pop psychology, motivation or positive thinking.


You’ve set prices as high as possible, pushed hard to maximize sales efforts and aggressively reduced costs.

At the same time, some of your to do list items remain the same:

  • “One or more of our sales people / sales teams are still under-performing.”
  • “We need to improve our hiring process – we sometimes don’t get what we thought we hired and it costs us a fortune in time and money.”
  • “Some of our leaders need to be more effective, but I’m not sure training is the answer.”
  • “At times, I see our leaders put what’s best for their departments (and themselves) ahead of what’s best for the company.”
  • “We’re doing OK, but we’re not as profitable as I know we should be. Employees must perform better. Where do we begin on that issue?”
  • “Our culture is focused on activity over results.”
  • “Our discussions need to focus on how to become the #1 choice for our customers, not internal discussions about what other departments did or didn’t do.”
  • “Managing employees really is like herding cats. They each have their own agenda. How do we do better at getting them to focus on achieving company objectives?”
  • “Changes in the market will require us to change how we do things. Our employees resist changes and prefer to do things the old way. How do I address that?”

If you’re facing one or more of these challenges, keep reading.

Cost of Not Addressing Challenges

In addition to the challenges listed above, do you find yourself wondering what’s going to happen if you don’t address these issues?

  • “What if one or more of our competitors figures out how to get better than us and we get left behind?”
  • “What if we develop a reputation for not being able to attract and retain the industry’s top performers? Competitors will get the top performers and we will get the leftovers.”
  • “Our sales teams continue to under-perform and, in the process, we give our competitor’s market share that should be ours.”
  • “Our customers get the sense that they don’t come first because they hear us blame each other for not keeping our promises”
  • If you know your company should be more profitable, have you added up what the lower profits has cost your company over the last 3 years? Be sure you’re sitting down when you get that number.

So, you might be wondering, “What else can be done to improve our results?” You know there’s no way for 1+1=3…or is there?

Human Behavior ROI

While technology has and will continue to automate many tasks, we still need humans to get the work done that only humans can do. 

Question for you. Have you ever known an employee who seemed to do the work of two or three people? Have you ever known an employee who excelled at their job and made it look easy? These occurrences are rare because they are left to chance.

Don’t leave these occurrences to chance. Use the science of human behavior to improve your company’s psychological performance, not just your company’s operational performance. Make 1 + 1 = 3 at your company.

Why don’t we take advantage of the science of human behavior to improve company performance? Three reasons:

  • First, the return on investment for using the science of human behavior is not posted in front of us in blinking lights. It’s buried in the information that we are presented with day in and day out. It is overlooked.
  • Second, human behavior sometimes isn’t considered scientific. “Human behavior is unique to each person so it can’t be scientific, right?  It feels soft.”
  • Finally, there’s some complacency involved. We’re getting the work done and making a profit so it is not a high priority. If it ain’t broke…

So, the ROI is not readily apparent. These insights probably won’t keep you awake at night.

However, the questions below might keep you awake at night:

  • Do you really want to have to work harder just to maintain the business you have today?
  • What happens if one or more of your competitors discovers the science behind human behavior and figures out how to build a higher performing organization and begins to leave your company behind?
  • Do you want to be the sled dog in second, third or fourth place hoping for leftovers?

Why not decide that, while you are going to go to work anyway, you might as well enjoy the benefits of operating as a high performing organization?

Psychology of Performance Principles

Below are ten of the psychology of performance principles we use to help our clients. We’re giving them away. No charge. We hope you will apply these concepts to dramatically improve your company’s performance. If you do, you’ll be well on your way to building a higher performing company and building an unfair competitive advantage for your company. Your competitors will be left wondering what happened.

Many of the examples below are sales related, but the concepts apply to project and leadership teams in other departments as well.

  1. While every person is unique, employee performance issues are not unique to each employee. Human behavior is highly predictable. If human behavior follows predictable patterns, those patterns can be learned, taught and improved. How will your company apply this principle to improve results?
  2. It is in our human nature to prefer the status quo because it is known. We humans prefer the known over the unknown. However, the status quo also breeds complacency. We become mentally fat and happy. How will your company apply this principle to overcome complacency and improve results?
  3. An employee’s behaviors and results change only after he/she decides that their current results are no longer acceptable to them (not you). The goal is that they become “tired of being tired” of their current results. How will your company apply this principle to improve results?
  4. We all have thinking that we are not aware of at the conscious level. Surfacing unconscious thinking brings it out in the open so it can be examined and challenged. Here are some examples: ABC Corp., our fiercest competitor, has us beat in that industry. | I got screwed on the commission plan 2 years ago. I’ll probably get screwed again. | The quantity of sales calls is more important than the quality of sales calls, (because the boss only asks about the quantity of calls). | That company buys from our main competitor. Therefore, they won’t buy from us. | How will your company apply this principle to improve results?
  5. DESIRED thinking has to reach the tipping point or current thinking will take us back to our status quo (current) thinking. How will your company apply this principle to improve results?
  6. Help employees want the DESIRED results more than they love the current thinking. How will your company apply this principle to improve results?
  7. Our current habits (behaviors) are a huge obstacle to making our DESIRED behaviors stick permanently. That’s why diets, New Year’s resolutions and efforts to stop smoking don’t work. How will your company apply this principle to improve results?
  8. The brain has a built-in resistance to change function (The Resistance). It rises up at any sign of change, large or small. How will your company apply this principle to improve results?
  9. We all operate with some level of self-deception. Self-deception is not being aware that we are part of the problem. In life, we are often stepping on the gas and the brake at the same time and concluding that there is something wrong with the car. That’s a perfect example of self-deception. How will your company apply this principle to improve results?
  10. Is your company culture focused more on activity over results? How will your company apply this principle to improve results?


If you want more than incremental improvements in results, prioritize this list of 10 psychology of performance principles and start with 3 of them. Systematically apply these principles and improve employee, leader, team and organizational performance in your company. You’ll begin to build real competitive advantage and you will leave your competitors wondering what happened.

You don’t need our help to see improved results. However, we do have advanced expertise in the psychology of performance and we’ve delivered results for more than 500 corporate teams big and small. While most of our clients are mid-market companies from 25 – 625 employees, Our well-known clients include Generac, ThyssenKrupp, Johnson & Johnson, Toyota and Procter & Gamble, to name a few.

The secret to how we deliver results for you is in the processes we use to introduce and apply these psychological performance principles. We get participants to incriminate their own behavior so they have to own their results and decide they want different results.

When you discover that the science of human behavior is real. you’ll see significant opportunities that most companies are missing to improve employee performance and organizational results.

I’d love to hear about your progress. Let me know how you are applying these principles and the results you are achieving.

If you would like to have a confidential, no-cost, no-obligation discussion about your company’s challenges, please contact me, Jim Connolly at

More About Me

  • I have a lifelong obsession with knowing how things work and with knowing why things work the way they do.
  • I also have a lifelong obsession with challenging the rules and the assumptions behind the rules to see if they are true.
  • I began my study of human behavior at the age of six years old. I was hooked.
  • I have undergraduate degrees in Business and Sociology. I’ve completed my Masters coursework and I’m working on my Doctorate in Organizational Behavior.
  • I’ve spent decades asking “why” questions about how human behavior works the way it does. I’ve also spent decades challenging the rules and the assumptions people make about human behavior.
  • Since starting my practice in March of 2002, I’ve completed hundreds of assignments for clients.
  • I’ve completed more than 2,000 behavioral interviews. The guarantee I make is that, after my interview with the candidate, I will tell you today what you will know about that person six months after hiring him/her.
  • I am most alive when I get to use the science of human behavior to equip people and organizations to improve their psychological performance, not just their operational performance. I get to do what I was wired to do and every day is fascinating. It’s a privilege that I don’t take lightly.

About Jim Connolly

Jim Connolly is Founder & CEO of OrgEx, Inc.  OrgEx, Inc. helps companies systematically apply principles of human behavior to improve operational performance and financial results.

Jim is a sought-after speaker who uses humor to challenge the thinking of his audiences.  Jim understands how people think and uses that knowledge to equip, cajole and inspire audiences.  He has spoken to audiences as large as 1,100 people.

In his consulting practice, Jim helps clients with their most pressing people challenges, including:

· Eliminating hiring mistakes
· Reducing employee turnover
· Underperforming teams – sales teams, project teams, leadership teams
· Leader performance challenges
· Resistance to organizational change efforts that are necessary to move the company forward
· Systematically building toward record-setting and industry-leading performance

Whether it’s a company-wide issue or working with a specific department or team, we know how human behavior works so we know how to improve organizational performance and financial results.  Find out more at  

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By | 2018-06-09T09:21:41+00:00 June 9th, 2018|