Added by Craig Steel
Leading the field

Vantaset™ (previously Steel Performance Solutions) has helped dozens of high-profile organisations including the New Zealand Police, UBank, Roche Pharmaceuticals, and the Giltrap Group unlock the potential of their business.

Craig Steel

For company founder Craig Steel, putting his early experiences in sport into a corporate context made sense in a multitude of ways.

We all know the old line about sport and politics not mixing is nonsense. Just think about how quickly politicians jump over themselves to be pictured next to winning athletes. But what about sport and business? Can the twain ever truly meet?

That was the conundrum facing performance specialist Craig Steel when his success in the sporting domain led to an unexpected opportunity in business.

When the first company to trial Steel’s process exceeded its target by over 400%, in a matter of months, he knew the principles he had developed for athletes could be applied in business.

In the intervening years, his company has helped dozens of organisations realise unprecedented improvements in staff performance and productivity by aligning what he refers to as the ‘5 Drivers of Workplace Performance’; key management disciplines that govern an organisation’s success.

Central to Steel’s approach is the fact that business performance is primarily a consequence of human performance.

Most leaders know their people have the ability to improve but how to achieve it is the problem. By deploying Vantaset Steel says, it provides organisations with a mechanism to change the way their people operate which in turn, improves the performance of the business.

Importantly, their process doesn’t try to squeeze more out of staff like conventional practices. Instead, it increases their capacity to perform.

“Instead of individuals feeling pressured to do more, they’re equipped with the tools to deliver the outcomes the organisation’s striving for. This approach creates a completely different culture or mindset; one that not only causes people to get excited about the company’s goals but fired up about how they can help it achieve them.”

Steel draws on his experience with elite athletes to make his point.

“In sport, athletes strive as much as management to improve their performance but in business, it tends not to be like that. It’s usually the managers or owners wanting their people to do better so they end up trying to extract more out of them rather than helping them excel in their roles.”

Craig Steel
Principal and Founder

“What we do is institute a framework that changes the relationship so people understand their manager’s sole interest is help them excel in their role – which is different because instead of their manager standing over them or scrutinising their performance, they realise they’re there to help them succeed.” When people feel backed by their leader, Steel says they push themselves as they know they can be better and that’s what excites them.

Reaching that stage, Steel argues, requires a fundamental change in leadership which is why their programmes are ‘leader led’. So, how is this different from leadership as we typically see it?

“It’s about repurposing the role of leadership so managers know that first and foremost, they are there to improve the performance and productivity of their workgroup – which really means helping them realise their potential.”

“We would argue that if a business has 100 leaders, it will have 100 different styles of leadership and while some people are naturally suited to leadership roles, others aren’t meaning everyone’s experience is different as it’s determined by their leader and how they engage rather than their role in the company.”

Given that, it’s perhaps surprising Vantaset doesn’t focus on the mass training of leaders.

“We don’t take a typical view of training,” says Steel. “Instead, it’s about the structured deployment of their process. The point is, most companies know their leaders are critical so they train them in the hope it leads to better outcomes.”

Craig Steel
Principal and Founder

“However, most organisations that do this end up disappointed with the results as it rarely leads to transformational change simply because they don’t have a leadership framework to leverage it.” Vantaset, on the other hand, Steel says not only defines the purpose of leadership, it equips every leader in the business with a playbook to do it which is supported by their software platform to ensure the changes can be hard-wired in the business. “This not only transforms the impact of leaders Steel says, it enables businesses to use their leadership structure or cohorts to drive the change rather than thinking they are there to manage those beneath them.”

While Steel says changes tend to come about quickly, it’s not designed to provide a quick fix. Instead, he says it’s designed to help organisations realise a step-change in the way they operate.”

As such, Vantaset customers don’t buy their software only to be left fending for themselves. Instead, Vantaset facilitators help them deploy it across the company so they can embed it as a high-performance way of working. This includes a customer relationship manager to oversee the programme and a performance specialist to deliver it.

After the initial deployment, there’s what Steel calls the ‘transference of ownership’, where people within the organisation take over the management of the process so it can be infused throughout the company to support its strategic aspirations.

“While most organisations want change, very few have a means to achieve it.”

This, Steel says, is where Vantaset is so powerful as it provides a proven transformation process that executives can literally plug into their business to transform the way it operates.


If you’d like to look at how our Performance Transformation Programmes can help you become a people-first business, call us on +64 9 522 9409 or email us at



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