Visa Europe Company: Peak Performance Culture

Peak Performance Process Analysis

Peak performance was an initiative-based approach toward the development of changes in the company’s culture. The main goal was to transition from an organizational culture that was based on facilitating flexibility to a clearly structured culture. The main reason for applying the peak performance approach in the quest for a paradigm shift in the organization was because the company did not want to alter the quality of services offered to its clients. Visa Europe was looking to implement drastic changes to the organization’s culture while enhancing its performance (CIPD, 2011). The peak performance approach required the company to first define and facilitate drivers for the process. Drivers are the elements that necessitate action.

The drivers included the prevailing culture, which was based on innovation, competition in the market also served as a driver toward the need for changes, and the requirement to engage staff members in implementing performance enhancement programs. Peak performance would be achieved by compelling the employees to challenge the existing processes and devise innovative ways to enhance performance. Additionally, the approach would be actualized through the creation of common goals and develop a team player feeling among human assets (CIPD, 2011). Most importantly, the peak performance would have to be associated with the preservation of the three most important elements of the old culture, which included flexibility, empowerment of the human resources, and embracing innovation in handling various tasks.

The integrative approach used in the peak performance quest helped the organization to clone its previous culture before introducing other elements of culture that enhanced its performance significantly. Not only did it lead to a higher level of satisfaction on the part of the employees, but it also led to the harnessing of a larger market share for the company. This subsequently resulted in Visa Europe attaining its current high competitive power (CIPD, 2011). The internal benefits were that the process led to the establishment of a family spirit in the organization, whereby every human asset felt valued and committed to achieving the organizational goals.

Linking the Process to Individuals, Teams, and Organization

It is quite important to ensure that there is a link between the individual, team, and organizational elements when implementing the peak performance process. The individual-level entails the identification of the various factors that would compel an individual in the organization to be motivated to embrace the goals of the peak performance process. The employees have to buy into the ideas presented by the leadership function for the process to achieve the required success. This implies that the leadership and management functions must look into identifying the motivational factors that appeal to respective individuals and implement them accordingly.

Once the individual requirements are met, the next consideration is linking individual effort to a team play, whereby there is a cultural alignment that facilitates efficient handling of the associated tasks to propel the peak performance process. Team cohesion is a function of the development of cultural values that accommodate every member of the team while mobilizing some of the human resources to take an active role in motivating their colleagues to embrace the goals set for the respective teams. Once the individual employees have subscribed to the team culture and owned the tasks and their respective goals, the next step is focusing on linking team culture with the organizational goals and structure.

Just as demonstrated by the Visa Europe Company, it is always important to ensure that the values adopted at an individual and team level are aligned with the ultimate goal of the organization (CIPD, 2011). This should be done by providing a clear picture of the vision for the company. The leadership function must be involved in developing a seamless explanation of the steps to be taken by the employees, their implications, and the challenges that might be faced on the way. Change management is a vital part of the process because it entails the application of mechanisms to support the adoption of strategies that may not be particularly desirable to every member of the organization. The link between the individual, team, and organization should be maintained throughout the application of change to achieve peak performance in the organization.

The culture at Visa Europe

Based on the goals of the company while implementing the peak performance process, it is apparent that the ideal culture for Visa Europe is a clan culture. A clan culture is based on the development of a collaborative approach toward pursuing goals. It is commonly associated with the development of a family environment and ensuring that a consensus is made whenever there are changes to be implemented (Belias & Koustelios, 2014). The main focus of the management and leadership functions in organizations with a clan culture is to motivate the human resources and develop empowerment programs to enhance their commitment to the organizational goals.

Visa Europe would thrive with such a culture because its traditional values attain parallelism with the factors that drive the clan culture. These include constant mentoring of the employees, developing organizational visions and communicating the goals to every member of the company, facilitating freedom for employees to take initiatives that enhance the attainment of the ultimate objectives, and ensuring the hierarchy of power does not hinder innovation among the human resources (Wiewiora, Trigunarsyah, Murphy, & Coffey, 2013). The role of culture is to ensure that everyone assumes a demeanor that supports the strategies and goals of the organization; hence, Visa Europe should adopt espoused values that foster the development of clan culture.

Role of Leadership in Cultural Change

The role of the leadership function in change implementation is ensuring that there is a clear vision of the objectives of the process. Leaders in an organization are charged with the responsibility of developing clear visions and communicating them to the management and the human resources meant to achieve the vision. Leaders also play an integral role in eliminating challenges that might be faced by the individuals and the teams in the quest for the vision of the organization. The most important task of the leadership function is to identify internal and external challenges in a project and develop innovative solutions to the challenges before they cripple the entire project (Fullan, 2014). Leaders must also play the role of facilitating all the necessary elements of production to motivate and empower the employees.

The goals of the organization, as set by the leaders, must align with the mission and vision statements of the company. This is because the main purpose of the statements is to remind the employees of the objectives that must be met on both a short-term and long-term basis. While the mission of the company reflects on its culture and the relationship between the organizational values and its processes, the vision statement reveals the ultimate goals (Fullan, 2014). The organizational culture must, therefore, be linked to the mission and vision statement because they reinforce its adoption by the employees and the teams developed during task handling processes. Leaders must assume supportive models in leading the organization toward achieving the goals set through the mission and vision statements.


The most important step in facilitating a successful transition of culture is allowing the employees to be part of the strategizing team. Buying the idea of assuming higher productivity while embracing changes in values and strategies is a function of the inclusiveness portrayed by the management and the leadership functions toward human assets. Once the employees are given a chance to take part in the brainstorming process, the management reveals that it is willing to give the human resources a chance to be creative and to have some of their ideas included in the strategizing process. The leadership function always makes the final decisions, but having some of the ideas from the employees incorporated in the improvisation process of the desired changes would have a positive impact on the motivation level of the team (Abbasi & Zamani-Miandashti, 2013). It is also always good to develop a list of the anticipated challenges in such a project. Resistance from human resources is a primary issue faced by the management in implementing changes in culture. Other challenges can also be countered by developing contingency plans before encountering the challenges.


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CIPD. (2011). Developing organization culture: six case studies. Web.

Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a culture of change personal action guide and workbook. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Wiewiora, A., Trigunarsyah, B., Murphy, G., & Coffey, V. (2013). Organizational culture and willingness to share knowledge: A competing values perspective in Australian context. International Journal of Project Management, 31(8), 1163-1174.