The Cycle of Excellence

The Cycle of Excellence

The Cycle of Excellence is a strategy that managers can adopt to bring out the best in their employees. Some experts believe managers are becoming obsolete, while others believe they are more important than ever. Whatever the fact is, managers work hard in stressful, uncertain, and unsettling times. The cycle of excellence operates by harnessing the power of collaboration between what is within a team and what is outside of it. Neither the employees nor the job make a difference. Every employer has the opportunity to make a difference by directing employees through five actions that, when combined, will tip the scales toward optimal performance. According to Hallowell (2011) the first step of the cycle of excellence is select. Before employee does anything, they should figure out what they want to do. Employers can help employees achieve good performance by making sure they choose jobs that meet three things: something they are good at, they like to do, and that adds value to the organization. This step is essential as it influences everything that follows but it is most of the time overlooked. Many employees underachieve most of the time because they stumbled into the wrong job and never get out of it. It is important that a manager knows direct reports well enough to help them get into the right roles in the organization. Another important step of excellence is the connection as it helps the series and follows on the heels of wise job selection. Staff who are doing things that suit them feel connected to others and a goal, therefore they can attain at the highest levels. The speed and involvedness of business in the modern workplace tend to leave staff disconnected, emotionally alone, isolate, exhausted, anxious and afraid with no idea how they got that way or what to do about it.

The Importance of Play

Thirdly, the importance of play is not recognized enough by managers, but they understand the importance of work to catalyze peak performance. The play is any activity in which the imagination gets involved as it institutes the most advanced prolific activity the human brain can engage. When workers seem dull, it is most of the time because the play is not there from their work and they are not involved in creative problem-solving. People at play yield creative results and can leap more readily from the routine to the exceptional.

Grapple and Grow

Grapple and Grow is another step that naturally follows the play. The problem is often not a lack of employee commitment but being made to work on a task the staff cannot do well, or one that is going nowhere and over with the individual has little or no control. Most employees feel comfortable working given the right conditions, and if they have selected the jobs or task, connected to their colleagues or a team and played well, grappling and growing in their employment will happen far more quickly. One of the most helpful skills a boss can develop is the capacity to encounter the right person at the right time to add something that is crucial to the organization.


Shine is the last step of the cycle of excellence, and it is what happens when staff work hard and advance as they gain recognition which affirms what they have done is valuable. Managers can assist staff to shine by providing them with praise, rewards, and awards for a job well performed. Staff who shine would like to continue doing so they know at the end of it all, they will be motivated. They feel connected to the team and become extremely loyal and want to help others in the organization advance and this completes the cycle of excellence and keeps it in motion. When an employee selects a task or job, he or she can do best, and for it being the first step of the cycle of excellence, it becomes the most important as it will affect the other levels. On the same note, shine on the other hand seem to be the least important step because an employee cannot shine if he or she has not selected the job or task he or she like doing.

Maintaining Excellence and Managing Human Capital in an Organization

To maintain excellence or manage human capital in an organization, you need to balance the performance, risk, and cost to achieve a peak solution. According to Campbell and Jardine, (2001), for you to maintain excellence in your business, you need to be strategic. Be focused and set a course for your destination by having a vision of what maintenance management will be like for example twenty years. Another thing that you need to look at is continuous improvement. Engage the collective wisdom and experience of your entire workforce and use the best practices from within and outside your organization and you will finish the journey to a regular maintenance of management, but for this to be continuous you need to be diligent and consistent.

Managing Human Capital

Human capital is critical in any organization and needs to be managed. Noe et al. (2006) note that those holding the resource-based view of the firm suggest that resources are valuable when they enable a business to enact strategies that improve efficiency and effectiveness and exploit market opportunities. Accordingly, the value of human capital is substantially dependent upon its potential to add to the competitive advantage or basic competence of the firm. As companies engage in more innovative forms of work arrangements, researchers might identify the most appropriate human resource to help develop and integrate those interdependent. For example, Stewart and Ruckdeschel (1998), emphasize that intellectual capital is the knowledge that converts raw materials and makes them more valuable. To build human capital you need to develop the skills, competencies and the ability of employees and groups who will give value to customers. Also, there is need to convert human capital into structural capital by organizing the exchange and sharing of knowledge. By use of knowledge assets, this reduces the expense and burden of carrying physical assets and maximize return on those assets.

The Future of Human Capital

In conclusion, Bontis and Fitz-Enz (2002) note that human capital effectiveness is the secondary component and that antecedent constructs are used to predict it. Measuring and demonstrating of human capital is important and can attribute to the growing strategic importance of intellectual capital management and the need for Human Resource managers to establish their credibility by making the function more accountable financially. The accounting function tells the state of our past and present financial strength but says nothing about the future. To be more specific it does not speak to human capital issues. To see the future, we need leading indicators as they tell us the state of our human capital as we prepare for the future.


Hallowell, E. M. (2011). Shine. Using Brain Science to get the Best from Your People. Boston: Havard Business School Publishing.

Campbell, J. D., & Jardine, A. K. (2001). Maintenance excellence: optimizing equipment life-cycle decisions. CRC Press.

Stewart, T., & Ruckdeschel, C. (1998). Intellectual capital: The new wealth of organizations.

Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2006). Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage.

Bontis, N., & Fitz-Enz, J. (2002). Intellectual capital ROI: a causal map of human capital antecedents and consequents. Journal of Intellectual capital, 3(3), 223-247.

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