3D Living: How to Inspire Better Employee Performance

Jay Forte

President and Founder, TGZ Group

We want our employees to excel at what they do. Let’s presume for this moment that you have hired your employees wisely — they have the skills, experience and behaviors necessary to perform the required tasks. You know the employee is capable. Now you need to have a plan in place that can support the employee to raise his performance.

I host a weekly podcast titled The Greatness Zone – Finding Your Greatness Road in Life and was fortunate to spend an hour recently with the practical philosopher and business consultant Tom Morris. Morris, known for his remarkable energy and his ability to share the relevance and wisdom of the philosophers with his Fortune 100 CEO clients, told me about a critical piece of information that can help employees improve their performance. He calls it 3D living: Discover, Develop, Deploy.


Discover refers to helping employees clearly define their greatest strengths, abilities and interests. Most of our employees are relatively unclear on what they are good at and what really gets their attention. Helping employees discover their talents, passions and values also allows them to better align to their roles and tasks. Behavioral assessments allow employees to discover their core performance language — adjectives that help them articulate their greatest abilities. Self-discovery can help them articulate their interests so they can start to watch for the environments, roles and tasks that fit them.


Develop refers to helping employees get better at what they are already good at. Trying to advance an employee’s performance in an area that does not align to his talents or strengths takes exceptional effort and, statistics show, yields marginal results. However, helping employees develop what they are already good at has the potential to move an employee’s performance from good to great. Work with each employee to build a performance development plan. By selecting one or two of their core abilities, you can then create training, coaching or mentoring options that will aid in the development of the employee.


Deploy refers to connecting employees to what they do best. Introduce them to challenges and greater responsibilities in the organization that align or connect to their talents, abilities and passions. Develop a plan to review the organization and identify all roles and tasks that align to an employees greatest abilities and interests. Sculpt employee jobs to deploy their greatest abilities.

3D living. 3D working. What a brilliant concept. It gives us the steps to know how to help our employees perform. First, discover and articulate their core abilities. Then, continually develop their abilities to augment their impact. Finally, deploy a plan to ensure employees’ roles connect them to what they do best.

As you start to think about 2015, how could the 3D model guide your approach to helping employees raise their performance?

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