It is easy to improve performance. All you have to do is change your system to reward production of the results that you want. (For example if I told all my subordaintes that tap dancing would be rewarded, by the end of 60 days they all would be) Then you change our policies, sops, and training programs to support performance of the desired result. (At Commerce/ITA we wanted to tie performance and awards so awards are submitted using the last page of the performance record/apprasial. Score of say 500-450 is outstanding and can get up to $….., etc. If supervisors don’t write an appraisal, they can’t give an award.) After that you change position descriptions and vacancy announcments to reflect the new competencies need to produce the results. It’s a systemic process. much like a spider web where if you touch one area, if impacts another, and when you pull your hand away you can do damage, or get stuck. Of course all performance systems are an attempted to objectivize a subjective process and all systems can be gamed to reward one’s buddy for fogging a spoon, but you have to assume that most people are ethical. That is why I would make integrity the most highly valued competency for leadership.