Growth, Innovation and High Performance. Part: 1 “Introduction”

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Introduction to the Leadership Pulse

The Fall, 2013 Leadership Pulse focused on factors that affect organizational growth and innovation. A total of 256 individuals participated in this Pulse Dialogue. The participants come from a large range of industries, and their job titles range from manager to CEO. Appendix A provides sample details on the demographics of the sample.

Individual Learning

Pulse Dialogue is our term for shorter, frequent surveys with results that are shared for the purpose of learning. The Leadership Pulse is unique in that all individuals enrolled in the program receive their own personal diagnostic reports. The goal is to provide feedback that can be used for leadership learning. Topics are timely, and the participants are comparing their data to that of peers around the world. Also, because the personal reports are stored in confidential manner, with individual access, users can access not only their most recent results but their trend data. In the personal report individuals can go back in time and learn from older data and reporting that may be more applicable today.

In addition to providing individual benchmarking and trend data, participants are invited to attend webinars sponsored by either eePulse or our partners in this project, Mercer and the Center for Effective Organizations at USC.

Team Learning

Additionally, any participant can sign up their teams (direct reports) and receive overall group reports. The teams can be up to 100 people. The group reports consist of aggregate data, so the leaders cannot see responses from individuals. The team pulse has been an important benefit for leaders who are interested in data-driven learning. Their teams can attend the knowledge sharing webinars, and they can learn not
only from their own results but from what other leaders are doing in response to the challenges discovered in the learning.

Learn More

To sign up as an individual or team, go to


Data Driven Leadership Learning!


Growth, Innovation and High Performance

The questions and topics explored in this leadership pulse were derived from a large-scale research study with thousands of firms. We want to know what it takes to drive long-term continued, sustained growth.

Growth is difficult, and we find that many firms start to grow and then falter. There’s a big difference between sustained growth and sporadic growth, with many more firms stumbling through sporadic growth. Why? We find that growth puts pressure on organizations, and if a firm does not have a strong core, it cannot sustain growth, so it will falter – thus sporadic vs. sustained growth.

Over time, and through multiple studies both across organizations and within firms, we found how to diagnose readiness for growth, innovation and high performance. The three terms accompany each other. High growth firms get there by innovating – they are open to continuous improvement; they foster big and small ideas, and they know how to bring newness into their organizations, cultivate it and grow talent, revenue and bottom-line profitability. Thus, growth and innovation lead to high performance – when growth is sustained. Growth on top of a faltering core results in low performance and the same can be said for innovation.

High Growth Firms Keep it Simple

We learned early on that high-growth, high-performing firms have a low tolerance for unnecessary complexity. Thus, our scientific research needed to be modeled along the mantra of keeping it simple. In the late 1990s, we designed a diagnostic tool to help organizations understand where they were in terms of readiness for growth and high performance. The tool is called the Valour Pulse™. Valour is an acronym to demonstrate the key aspects needed to grow.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, “valor” is defined as “strength of mind and spirit that enables a person to conquer danger with firmness.” Valour represents a company’s culture for growth, change, and innovation. It is key to any organization’s success. Valour is not only a meaningful word in and of itself, but it is an acronym that stands for value, ownership, sense of urgency and rewards.

Executive Leadership The Value of “Valour”


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Author: Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne

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