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Talent and Performance Development
Making sense of performance and talent development systems to create & sustain high performance in organizations. For the BEST of the BEST curated news in performance, change, agile learning, innovation, motivation, social media and careers, SUBSCRIBE to Reveln.com/Tools/
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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN
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Choice about Performance Feedback is Powerful! A 2014 Top Product Winner: Skillrater.com

Choice about Performance Feedback is Powerful! A 2014 Top Product Winner: Skillrater.com | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

     

What It Is:   Skillrater.com is a cloud-based performance-feedback tool that incorporates social networking and collaboration. It is designed to encourage employees, leaders, teams and organizations to collaborate and help each other improve over time. After completing any work activity, an employee can request a rating from a supervisor, peer, client or customer.   ….Skillrater's feedback is provided in the form of one-to-five ratings on day-to-day activities. 

    

__________________________

      

Employees are empowered to take control of their own development and advancement...so their good work gets noticed. 

   

__________________________

    

         

[Technology]:  Skillrater can also plug in to complement any integrated talent-management suite, such as Oracle Talent Cloud or SuccessFactors, or can be used as a stand-alone solution. It can also be used to help determine a return-on-investment in leadership-development programs and tracking talent data for various HR developmental and organizational initiatives.
     

Why We Like It: ...the ability to import LinkedIn profiles into the system were...highly valued by our team of judges... [W]e also liked that Skillrater enables employees to request feedback on their own work.

      

Employees are empowered to take control of their own development and advancement, and your most ambitious employees will want to request ratings often so their good work gets noticed. 

     

......we especially like how the product easily enables raters to include a positive, reinforcing message into a rating before delivering a critique. 

As always in REVELN ScoopIt news, click on the photo to see the full post.


Related posts by Deb:

     

            

              

      

        

                  

    • Stay in touch with the monthly Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  9 multi-gold award winning curation streams.  Preview it here, via REVELN Tools.


    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    This tool can be used to shift the conversation about performance to ***conversation*** about performance, rather than inspection, monitoring, and all that industrial age stuff that continues to plague performance management systems.

    I talked with Louis Carter today about Skillrater, and learned I was one of the first to comment on this new technology last year.   As of this posting, I'm interested in testing this product in an organization ready to update to more modern, less inspection-oriented performance support, focused on appreciation and encouragement, using ratios such as 5 to 1, positive to critique [disclosure.] 
       
    The 5 to 1 feedback ratio is based on research from the Positive Organizational Scholarship folks including the Univ. of Michigan Ross Business School.  A video describing how Skillrater works is here.   Lou's press release about Skillrater winning the 2014 award is here.
           
    If you'd like to have a conversation about trying out SkillRater with the perspective of a seasoned, Whole System Transformation (WST) and organization development consultant/coach like me, contact me here.  Thanks!   ~  Deb Nystrom, REVELN.com

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    Never Say Never? Ratings & Frequency Scales for Performance Feedback

    Never Say Never?  Ratings & Frequency Scales for Performance Feedback | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

    Take a second look at the validity of ratings, especially frequency scales for Performance including multi-rater feedback.


    Excerpts:


    [There are] …challenges of creating reliable/valid measurement when …relying on input …from observers of his/her behavior….[specifically] the rating scale that is being used.  


    _______________________

        

    “Always”....doesn’t mean they do it well.   …conversely...Rarely or Never doesn’t mean they are bad at it.

        

    _______________________

         

    …the rating scale’s effectiveness is likely to be directly affected by the quality of rater training….often neglected beyond …basic …written instructions. 

         

    In [David Bracker's] webinar, [he] shared a list of a dozen or so various rating scales that I have encountered over the years, all in a 5 point format.  

         

    …The 3D Groups recent benchmark study of over 200 organizations that use 360 feedback that, by far, the 5 point scale and the Likert Agree/Disagree format are used more often than any other scale type.  

        

    …this practice is a form of laziness in 360 designers who haven’t reflected long or hard enough to consider scales that work better when the target is a specific person and not some nebulous entity like an organization [as with an] engagement survey.

        

    ….frequency scales (typically 5 point scales…ranging from Never to Always)…continue to be widely used…[and are] conceptually flawed. People can’t do everything “Always” (or even Almost Always…)  …because they do something “always” doesn’t mean they do it well.   …conversely, because they do it Rarely or Never doesn’t mean they are bad at it. 


    ______________________  

        

    Frequency scales are used far too frequently.  They should be used Never.

        

    ______________________

        


    ...frequency scales severely penalize supervisors who do some things infrequently but are otherwise perceived to be effective.

         

    …Research by Kaiser and Kaplan (2006) (that you can access here:http://kaplandevries.com/thought-leadership/list/C44)...demonstrate that frequency scales are, by far, less satisfactory when compared to Evaluative and “Do More/Do Less” scales.


    Frequency scales are used far too frequently.  They should be used Never.

    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    David Bracker's post helps clarify a number of issues with performance ratings.
     

    I’ve found in certain settings, a simple scale with description: Do more of, Stay the Same, Do Less of” with perhaps three to five items takes a group further, especially in “tender” groups, those who may have limited trust and openness. In such groups, making the “do less of” voluntary, helps to some degree, particularly if it is seen as an honest option, with no pressure to participate in “improvement” feedback.    ~  D

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    Why Are We Managers So Poor at Feedback? It’s Like Trying to Explain How to Use a Towel to a Fish

    Why Are We Managers So Poor at Feedback?  It’s Like Trying to Explain How to Use a Towel to a Fish | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

    Is the manager’s most important job to give feedback to employees? ....Study after study point to managers who are poor at giving feedback as the major reason why performance appraisals fail.


    Excerpts:

    "...most managers are so poor at it which means the feedback is infrequent, poorly timed, of poor quality, or all three."

    Sibson Consulting reports that HR professionals are frustrated because managers don’t give constructive feedback and 58% of HR professionals give their number one feedback tool, the annual performance review, a C grade or below. 


    Study after study point to managers who are poor at giving feedback as the major reason why performance appraisals fail.


    ...[The] ..four big reasons (barriers) why feedback is poorly done now:


    • …what managers call feedback is not feedback at all. It is criticism. Feedback is data from a process that is used for learning.
        
    • Second, current HR polices require managers to give the feedback. Why not give employees the ability and autonomy to collect their own data? ... Why not provide autonomy and trust to employees instead?
        
    • Third, the work environment most often discourages open and honest feedback. …How can managers give feedback to something they can’t see?
        
    • Fourth, most managers intuitively know….Attempting to provide feedback on the behaviors of employees without studying the entire system (the context) is like trying to explain how to use a towel to a fish.
       
    Related posts by Deb:
          
    Curing ONE of the Seven Deadly Diseases of Management, Performance Appraisals

           

    From Chaos to Creative Performance Development in a VUCA World (One that is Volatile, Uncertain, Chaotic and Ambiguous) - Slideshare

            


    photo:  by deepwarren Flickr cc 


    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    This helpful article points to the systemic source of problems in performance appraisals and feedback.  It also implies that data and business intelligence have a bigger role that managers could help happen.  

    Getting data in the hands of those who could best use it for, direct, untainted, well-timed feedback relieves managers of a burdensome, low-value task and empowers them to direct data tools to where they can do the most good.  ~  Deb

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    High Performance Teams (and Marriages): The Ideal Praise-to-Criticism Ratio

    High Performance Teams (and Marriages): The Ideal Praise-to-Criticism Ratio | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
    It's the secret to high-performing teams -- and strong marriages.


    The research, conducted by academic Emily Heaphy and consultant Marcial Losada, examined the effectiveness of 60 strategic-business-unit leadership teams at a large information-processing company.



    ________________________

    The factor that made the greatest difference between the most and least successful teams,..
    .was the ratio of positive comments to negative comments...nearly six positive comments for every negative one.

    ________________________


    "Effectiveness" was measured according to financial performance, customer satisfaction ratings, and 360-degree feedback ratings of the team members.

    The factor that made the greatest difference between the most and least successful teams, Heaphy and Losada found, was the ratio of positive comments

    • ("I agree with that," for instance, or "That's a terrific idea") 

    to negative comments 

    • ("I don't agree with you" "We shouldn't even consider doing that") that the participants made to one another. 
    The average ratio for the highest-performing teams was 5.6 (that is, nearly six positive comments for every negative one).

    The medium-performance teams averaged 1.9 (almost twice as many positive comments than negative ones.)

    _________________________

    ..Only positive feedback can motivate people to continue doing what they're doing well, and do it with more vigor, determination, and creativity.
    _________________________

    But the average for the low-performing teams, at 0.36 to 1, was almost three negative comments for every positive one.

    ...Only positive feedback can motivate people to continue doing what they're doing well, and do it with more vigor, determination, and creativity.

    Perhaps that's why we have found with the vast majority of the leaders in our database, who have no outstanding weaknesses, that positive feedback is what motivates them to continue improvement. In fact, for those in our database who started above average already (but are still below the 80th percentile), positive feedback works like negative feedback did for the bottom group.

    Focusing on their strengths enabled 62% of this group to improve a full 24 percentage points (to move from the 55th to the 79th percentile). 
    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    First scooped to the Art and Science of Motivation, it also belongs in the Performance category.  Enjoy! ~  Deb

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    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, August 1, 2013 8:18 PM

    This refers to some classic research from M. Losada & Heaphy on connectivity in high performance teams.  This research about positive and critiquing feedback ratios (and the volume of the positive feedback) seems right on target from the 1998 studies.  ~  Deb

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    Let's Abolish Self-Appraisal - Dick Grote's Perspective on the Manager's Role

    Let's Abolish Self-Appraisal - Dick Grote's Perspective on the Manager's Role | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

    Asking an employee to write a self-appraisal using the company's appraisal form is a ...deceptively attractive technique.


    A performance appraisal is a record of a supervisor's opinion of the quality of an employee's work. The review meeting is a discussion, not a negotiation. Asking the individual to write a self-appraisal encourages misunderstanding by both parties.


    ...individuals are notoriously inaccurate in assessing their own performance, and the poorer the performer, the higher (and more inaccurate) the self-appraisal. 


    Research by the consulting firm Lominger, Inc.indicates that "the overall correlation between self-ratings and performance was .00. The most accurate rater by far is the immediate boss."


    Further, in their article "Unskilled and Unaware of It," Cornell University researchers Justin Kruger and David Dunning report that those who are incompetent performers are also incapable of assessing the difference between good and bad performance.


    As they put it, "When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, they are left with the mistaken impression that they are doing just fine."

    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    This issue here is the individual view of appraisal and the accuracy of manager appraisals, as well as end of year reviews tied to salary increases.  One to one links of such processes fragment team and group work.  What do you think?  ~  Deb

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    Let's Invert the Performance Review

    Let's Invert the Performance Review | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

    "...even well-executed performance reviews are glaringly one-sided."


    Performance reviews ...[are] ...a great opportunity to synchronize manager and employee expectations, jointly set goals, and evaluate progress toward those goals. If you're a manager and not doing these things, you might as well skip the review process -- and reconsider whether you're fit to be a manager.


    But even well-executed performance reviews are glaringly one-sided. They review employee performance on terms set by their managers. Why don't we see the reverse: employees reviewing the performance of their managers?


    ...Invert the performance review. Make the primary focus upward rather than downward.


    Reasons:

    1. It's usually harder to judge managerial performance than individual contribution. Individual contributions mostly have tangible, attributable results. In contrast, managerial performance is largely reflected in how the team perceives the manager.

    2. Managers are key reason that employees decide whether to stay at a company or quit. 

    3. Without a formal review process, it's easy for managers to not get meaningful feedback from their employees. 
    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    I wish I had a nickel for every suggestion I've received over the years for upward performance review of managers.   It's an evergreen request only implemented, in a limited way, through multi-rater feedback.   Still, systemically, it's worth inclusion on this curation stream because


    1) It's mentioned as an idea, seemingly new;


    2) It's an article on LinkedIn, a large, professional network;


    3) It makes the point about execution problems and 360 feedback;


    4) It relates to team performance.  Managers are often connected to a team concept of all those needed to execute on a goal successfully, especially those who report to them;


    5) I'm a big fan of any Dilbert comic on this topic.


    Best, ~  Deb

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    Social Business Tools Are Transforming the Way We Work & Give Feedback

    Social Business Tools Are Transforming the Way We Work & Give Feedback | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

    Social business, the use of social network platforms for workplace communication and collaboration, is new... ...Some businesses are harnessing the power of social platforms to facilitate workplace productivity.


    __________________
       
    Consider the transformation when co-workers replace one-to-one emails with group collaboration.
       

    __________________


    ... first entries include Yammer, Rypple, and NationalField in 2008. Saba released its first social networking solutions for HR in 2009, and Mango Apps, 7Geese, and Globoforce came along in 2010.


    Yammer, acquired by Microsoft, originally described itself as “Facebook for business.” Rypple, bought by Salesforce.com and rebranded as Work.com, gives companies an online motivational and coaching tool. Globoforce invites supervisors and peers to encourage each other with positive feedback, including digital badges and rewards.

         

    [These] tools of social business field are leading to a new level of organizational transparency.   ...Consider the transformation when co-workers replace one-to-one emails with group collaboration on a social platform. A worker in Charlotte asks a question, a colleague in London answers, a team member in Shanghai provides clarification, and many other employees are brought along for the ride. With social tools, employees pool their knowledge and get the work done.
          

    Social tools also act as new platforms for performance appraisals that are relevant and positive in real time. Work.com offers the option of anonymous feedback, which the company says is easier to give and receive. Saba’s Pulse funnels social feedback into a company’s formal review process. Adobe Systems, on the other hand, has done away with traditional performance reviews and has replaced it with its own new platform, Check-In, for informal real-time responses.

    As always in our ScoopIt news, click on the photo, video or title to see the full Scooped post.

        

    Related posts by Deb:

        

         

        

      

           

    • Are you local to SE Michigan?  Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.  


    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.  Those staffers who've asked for more transparency from their administrators, could find themselves out in the open, ready to shine or ready to run away once social collaboration fully meets the light of day.  

    I for one am very curious to learn of how Adobe Systems, using Check-in, may be making progress with reinventing performance review and dealing with the problems of individualistic feedback, as all of us work as part of a system, reference, W. Edward Deming's "Red Bead Experiment."  Stay tuned, it may be a bumpy ride, and it could be a transformation of better understanding human performance is in store.  ~  D 

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    Conquering Fears of Giving Feedback by Karen May of Google

    Conquering Fears of Giving Feedback by Karen May of Google | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

    It’s simply harder to give difficult feedback than positive feedback or no feedback.  ...It creates tension.  However...70% of the time, it's worth it...


    This interview with Karen May, vice president for people development at Google, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.


    Excerpt:

        

    If you’ve identified something that isn’t going well, then you’re likely to be asked, “How do I fix it?” If you don’t know the answer, you might not want to start the conversation. 


    ________________
        
    People can do something with the feedback probably 70% of the time.

       

    ________________


    As a coach, I was often in the position of giving people feedback they hadn’t heard before, after I interviewed a bunch of people they work with. It was always difficult for me, too.

        

    ....But I came to find that people are incredibly grateful. If I’m not doing well and I don’t know it or I don’t know why or I can’t put my finger on what’s not working and no one will tell me, I won’t be able to fix it.

       

    ...if you give me the information, the moment that the information is being transferred is painful, but then I have the opportunity to change it. I’ve come to realize that one of the most valuable things I could do for somebody is tell them exactly what nobody else had told them before.

         

    Q. How often does that have a positive outcome?

        

    A. People can do something with the feedback probably 70 percent of the time. And for the other 30 percent, they are either not willing to take it in, it doesn’t fit their self-image, they’re too resistant, in denial, or they don’t have the wherewithal to change it.

    ...the reality is that most change happens in small increments. So if you’re watching to see if someone’s changing, you have to watch for the incremental change. It’s not a straight line


    Related posts by Deb:
         

    A History of Performance Appraisals: Letting Go to Power New Culture


    Selecting a Coach: Connect, Clarify and Commit & 10 Questions to Ask Your Prospective Coach

          

    The Pervasive Talent Myths Meet FLOW, Using Your Strengths

       

    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    This is insightful from several perspectives:  that of helping people work through their blind spots, serving as a coach and NOT expecting to "fix it" as the key to the feedback.   There are alternative approaches to consider for feedback as well  (Escape from the Red Zone.)  

    Ultimately, high performance and development requires an informed view of how to deal with feedback.   ~  Deb

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    Curing ONE of the Seven Deadly Diseases of Management, Performance Appraisals

    Curing ONE of the Seven Deadly Diseases of Management, Performance Appraisals | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

    "We often don't sense the invisible chains of entrenched habits until poets, reformers and provocateurs start asking questions."


    A century later, any leader today is well served to at least acquaint himself with Deming list to better understand what continues to plague corporate performance today.


    Excerpted, four of the seven:

     

    The Seven Deadly Diseases of Management


    1.   Lack of constancy of purpose to plan product and service that will have a market and keep the company in business, and provide jobs.


    2.  Emphasis on short-term profits: short-term thinking (just the opposite from constancy of purpose to stay in business), fed by fear of unfriendly takeover, and by push from bankers and owners for dividends.


    3.   Evaluation of performance, merit rating, or annual review.


    4. Mobility of management; job hopping.

    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    See the full post here to view a fresh new video on the roots of performance appraisal, (3rd century, really!) and clues for what to do about it today:

     Clues for What's Next in "A History Performance Appraisal."


    It also features yours truly.  ~  Deb

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    Classic: How to Give Good Feedback, Beyond Appraisal

    Classic:  How to Give Good Feedback, Beyond Appraisal | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

    "...Human nature hasn't changed - few of us enjoy hearing about our shortcomings, and few of our bosses and colleagues look forward to describing them.


    Part of the problem is that work itself has changed - it's more team- oriented, less individualistic. The tougher it is to measure individual performance, the tougher it is to evaluate it."

    ___________________________


    The tougher it is to measure individual performance, the tougher it is to evaluate it."

    ___________________________


    Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colorado ...explor[ed] how best to modify the hospital's existing checklist-based reviews: Which ratings made the most sense? Which scoring systems worked best? But no amount of tinkering satisfied Parkview's leaders.


    Dorothy Gill, vice president of human resources, and a team of her colleagues explained their dilemma to the CEO: "He said, 'If there isn't a better way to do reviews, let's just stop doing them.' So we did. 


    Gill and her colleagues eventually came up with an idea. It's called APOP, for Annual Piece of Paper. The most valuable kinds of feedback, they concluded, are the daily interactions between leaders and their people - interactions that can't be captured on paper.


    The hospital still requires that managers do annual reviews. But instead of being top-down appraisals, the reviews are bottom-up requests for assistance: What can the leader do to make the employee's job easier? What gets in the way of accomplishing the job?


    ___________________________

    There are no scores, no written goals for the next year....  the...process "takes performance reviews and turns them upside down." 

    ___________________________


    And the medium for those reviews is conversation, not written evaluation. There is a form - the APOP. But its only role is to confirm that the conversations took place. There are no scores, no written goals for the next year.


    It's literally a piece of paper, signed by the employee and the director, that records the date, place, and agenda of the meeting. The APOP process "takes performance reviews and turns them upside down," Gill says. "Directors don't tell employees how they're doing. They ask open-ended questions to see what will help employees do a better job."


    photo: by felipe.cabrera, Flickr CC 

    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    This is a classic article from way back, 1998, that is still fresh and current today on the topic, with many relevant business examples and practice tips.  


    Parkview Medical Center is still around.  Hospital reviews are available via US News and World report.  They are placing as one of the top 11 hospitals in the state for several health practice areas.  ~  Deb

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    TestOps Tech: Beginning a New Trend in Performance Management with Cloud Data

    TestOps Tech: Beginning a New Trend in Performance Management with Cloud Data | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

    DevOps and TestOps?  If you are curious or if the jargon rings a bell, here's one of the newest trends in data and measurement, relating to Performance Management on the tech side of the topic.


    Excerpted:  


    DevOps has attracted a lot of attention, and boasts plenty of successes already. TestOps is even newer and less well-understood--but is on course to bring its own advantages.


     in my own career, I’ve battled against silos that also isolate such other domains as Training and Support. Sometimes there are good reasons....certainly there are few organizations which put them on the same level during planning.


    A tiny but growing number, though, are exploring “TestOps”, which, at its most aggressive, claims that “[t]esters are uniquely qualified to lead the way to a more nimble enterprise.


    TestOps remains so small that there is no Wikipedia entry [yet.]  [And yet]...it’s a common term of art within Microsoft and a few other large industry players.


    ...If you’re in any field with objective success criteria, though, and especially if the cloud is the basis for at least part of your infrastructure, it’s time for you to explore how to make the most of TestOps principles.


    Photo source:  What is DevOps?


    Via Riaz Khan
    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    This post is the tech systems/macro side of performance management - similar to two perspectives on what change management really is, by definition.  Measurement criteria (objective success criteria, success factors, etc.) is the Achilles Heel of performance management success, both choice of measures and process.  Get it right, and talent and performance management can be a mighty force.  ~  D

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    FINALLY, Scrapping Performance Appraisals for What Motivates!

    FINALLY, Scrapping Performance Appraisals for What Motivates! | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
    Something big is going on. More and more companies have decided to radically change their performance appraisal process.



    ...Adobe, Juniper, Kelly Services, and a variety of other companies ...have decided to do away with traditional performance ratings and dramatically change the annual appraisal process.

    Excerpts


    The new keys to success:


    • Develop a “feedback-rich” culture and set of tools (often online, sometimes formal, often informal) that encourages all employees to give each other feedback. 
        
    • Talk about performance regularly and let employees create their own goals on a regular basis. 
      
    • [Ensure] managers provide ongoing feedback and teach them how to have honest conversations.
       
    • Assume that employees already know something about their own performance, and [help them] them self-assess. ...That starts the dialogue about expectations and the match between their self-assessment and that of the organization.

    Related posts by Deb:

    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    It's time for performance management to fade and for positive talent development systems to move forward.  As an example of this, Skillrater.com has arrived on the scene, integrated into social media and positive feedback practices.  More news and scoops to follow.  ~  Deb

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    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, May 6, 2013 11:15 AM

    IS this slow moving change finally taking hold?!  From a Chris Lee article on problematic appraisal in the 90's ot Coen's & Jenkins "Abolishing Appraisals" book in 2002, finally the death bell may be ringing.


    More than a decade later, there is hope for corporations abandoning this deeply flawed corporate millstone in exchange for a healthier, feedback rich and goal/challenge driven culture.   ~  Deb