Witnessing the birth of a high performance organization is a rare occurrence – after all, there aren’t too many of them (yet). I was thrilled to be fortunate enough to not only see it happen but also to be part of it. I am talking of the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), a governmental agency based in Lusaka, Zambia. CCPC regulates the Zambian economy to avoid restrictive business practices, abuse of dominant position of market power, anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions and cartels as these erode consumer welfare. The key objectives of the commission are twofold: to promote a culture of competition for a sustained economic growth and wealth creation; and to protect and enhance consumer welfare in the economy for the benefit of all Zambians. In 2014 CCPC undertook a HPO Diagnosis that yielded several strong points of the institution – CCPC has good people, who were good in improving and changing, all for the better of the clients and stakeholders – and five attention points which needed to be addressed in order for CCPC to become an HPO: make it possible for all people to perform, use all the intellect and knowledge in CCPC, create the leaders for the high performance CCPC, create the employees for the high performance CCPC, and create a picture of CCPC as a High Performance Commission.
Pledges as to how to serve the public
During the period 2014-2016 CCPC went energetically to work with the attention points by appointing HPO Coaches, developing an HPO Vision, improving the communication between management and employees, and employees pledges. These pledges especially impressed me: employees came up with pledges as to how they were going to serve the public. These pledges were printed on the pop-up banners and placed in all Provincial Offices. This was to allow both internal and external stakeholders to hold CCPC staff accountable for the pledges they had committed themselves to.
CCPC named as one of the best governmental institutions in Africa
The second HPO Diagnosis during the second half of 2016 showed that CCPC had become an HPO. This was confirmed by the rating of the International Competition Network which in 2016, in conjunction with the World Bank, named CCPC as one of the best governmental institutions in Africa, from the in total 43 competing institutions from countries around the world. During a workshop I had with CCPC’s management team we discussed the impact of HPO on the organization: the team spirit in the agency had been enhanced among both managers and employees; the unity among the people, departments and regions was enhanced; and there was a sense of belonging which positively affected the performance of employees and departmental collaborations. People where applying themselves fully as regards to performance, and everybody remained willingly accountable to their pledges. All staff people felt they were important, and they fully understood the critical role they played in attaining CCPC’s objectives. In addition, financially CCPC had seen an increase of in total 144 percent in the income generated from its operational activities.
The World Bank named CCPC as one of the best governmental institutions in Africa, from the in total 43 competing institutions from countries around the world.
The attainment of the HPO status and the good results were ample enough reason for a party in November 2016. During this event, which was covered by national TV and the national newspapers, in my speech I listed the reasons why according to me CCPC was able to become an HPO in 2½ years: strong management commitment, dedicated HPO Champion and HPO Coaches, motivated and enthusiastic employees, a strong belief that HPO could make things better for the people of Zambia, and continually displaying creativity and discipline. I also handed out a nice HPO plaque to CCPC’s management.
CCPC OOH WE ARE HPO!