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Gung Ho! - Ken Blanchard's Organisational Development System

Introduction to Gung Ho! Performance

Gung Ho!® is a relatively recent licensed methodology for developing and improving organizational culture and performance. Based on the Gung Ho! book by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, the Gung Ho! process has been used by organizations around the world, and was recognized in 2000 by Human Resource Executive magazine as one of the Top Ten Training Programs. Ken Blanchard has some experience in this area: he's an acclaimed author, for example with Spencer Johnson he wrote The One Minute Manager. And with Paul Hersey, Blanchard developed the Situational Leadership ® Model . Based on these earlier successes, the Ken Blanchard group of companies has been a considerable presence in the training and development world for many years.

Today, more than ever, employees are looking for meaning in the work they do.

Gung Ho! is an example of a modern 'packaged solution' (in the sense that it is a protected and marketed system) which aims to help provide more meaning at work, and for inspiring and motivating employees at all levels. Using this methodology is subject to licence and support - it is not a system that anyone can use and it is most certainly not free.

The Gung Ho! approach focuses on sharing of information; aligning purpose, values, and goals of people and organization; frontline decision making responsibility; and celebration of successes. The process is designed to respond to various organizational needs and to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing business world.


Blanchard and Bowles' process aims to address the following:

  • Improve morale and productivity
  • Reduce employee turnover
  • Develop a sense of purpose
  • Improve creativity and innovation
  • Improve service to internal and external customers
  • Empower individuals and teams


The Gung Ho! model contains three central principles, which aim to create an organization of productive, committed employees who love what they do:

  1. Worthwhile work driven by goals and values
  2. Putting workers in control of achieving the goal
  3. Cheering each other on


Gung Ho! process elements typically involve the following:

  • Pre-work including Gung Ho! Quotient assessment and also an assessment of individual personal values and purpose.
  • Purpose and Values module action plans to close gaps and extend best practice.
  • Focus on 'Worthwhile Work', use of case studies, review goal standards for individuals and team members, Performance-Values Matrix, and action planning.
  • Analysis of leader behaviours needed for peak performance; 'Win As Much As You Can' experience validates the importance of trust in teams, and further action planning.
  • 'Cheering Each Other On', the power of feedback, rewards and recognition, story-telling, and final Quotient analysis action planning.


The Blanchard organization states that the single best approach for accelerating the creation of a Gung Ho! culture is to introduce and explain the model and process first to top management.

This allows the senior executive team to understand the process and begin changing their own behaviour.

Gung Ho! is aimed at leaders and managers with formal supervisory responsibility in their organizations. The Gung Ho! process is focused on changing an organization's culture, so it makes sense that those exposed to the methods and techniques should have the authority and motivation to modify organization's practices.

Cascading the development and working through identified in-house Gung Ho! work teams is also a proven method of implementation.

Gung Ho! can also be customised for large organizations with more specific requirements including branded materials. It can also be supported via 'train the trainer' programmes, and is accessible by smaller organizations via public workshops.

Gung Ho! is an example of the empowering organizational development increasingly being used by today's successful companies.