Talent and Performance Development
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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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Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace

Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Amazon may be singular ...[or] ...just been quicker in responding to changes that the rest of the work world is now experiencing: data that allows individual performance to be measured continuously, come-and-go relationships between employers and employees, and global competition in which empires rise and fall overnight. Amazon is in the vanguard of where technology wants to take the modern office: more nimble and more productive, but harsher and less forgiving.

... Keith Ketzle, a freckled Texan triathlete with an M.B.A., ...explain[s] how he left his old, lumbering company for a faster, grittier one.  “Conflict brings about innovation,” he said.

      

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To prod employees, Amazon has a powerful lever...Its perpetual flow of real-time, ultra-detailed metrics

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 ...the articles of faith ...describe the way Amazonians should act. In contrast to companies where declarations about their philosophy amount to vague platitudes, Amazon has rules that are part of its daily language and rituals, used in hiring, cited at meetings and quoted in food-truck lines at lunchtime. Some Amazonians say they teach them to their children.


...Employees are to exhibit “ownership” (No. 2), or mastery of every element of their businesses, and “dive deep,” (No. 12) or find the underlying ideas that can fix problems or identify new services before shoppers even ask for them.

    

Compensation is considered competitive — successful midlevel managers can collect the equivalent of an extra salary from grants of a stock that has increased more than tenfold since 2008. But workers are expected to embrace “frugality” (No. 9), from the bare-bones desks to the cellphones and travel expenses that they often pay themselves.  

   

To prod employees, Amazon has a powerful lever: more data than any retail operation in history. Its perpetual flow of real-time, ultradetailed metrics allows the company to measure nearly everything its customers do: what they put in their shopping carts, but do not buy; when readers reach the “abandon point” in a Kindle book; and what they will stream based on previous purchases. It can also tell when engineers are not building pages that load quickly enough, or when a vendor manager does not have enough gardening gloves in stock.
     

“Data creates a lot of clarity around decision-making,” said Sean Boyle, who runs the finance division of Amazon Web Services and was permitted by the company to speak. “Data is incredibly liberating.”


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Are "rank and yank" evaluation methods and ultra-detailed metrics the future of work, a la Amazon, or Frederick Taylor's 20th century scientific management methods on steroids?  Time will tell.  I hope that other companies with a different work ethic will prevail. ~  Deb

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Business & Talent Building: Problems With Incubators, and How to Solve Them

Business & Talent Building: Problems With Incubators, and How to Solve Them | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"Financing isn't success, and office space isn't value...  there are over 7,500 business incubators around the world. Most of them fail."



The first business incubator in the U.S. opened in 1959 and is still operating. In the last couple of years, we have seen a renaissance in the incubator business. Pioneered by YCombinator, Silicon Valley's flagship incubator led by Paul Graham, incubators have come back with a vengeance.


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...incubators ...need to overcome two pitfalls: they need to provide real value, not just office space, and they need to measure success in more than just outside funding.

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YCombinator has seen some significant successes...[and] has fueled ...an incubator bubble.... Incubator are now a global phenomenon, and there isn't a major city in the world where an incubator isn't cropping up.


For incubators to live up to their full economic potential, they need to overcome two pitfalls: they need to provide real value, not just office space, and they need to measure success in more than just outside funding.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

A management quote I have adapted seems to fit here: "If it can be measured with the right measures at the right time with the right tools and by the right people, it can lead to new productivity, motivation and high performance."  

Ownership of good data can power incubator success, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation.  ~  Deb

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S.M.A.R.T. Goals in Social Media or for Anything

S.M.A.R.T. Goals in Social Media or for Anything | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Short examples illustrate how you can use S.M.A.R.T. goals to improve your social media strategy [and to write better goals for anything.]

Specific
I want my fans to engage more
I want to increase my Page's People Talking About This number

"Engage more" is a nebulous, relative phrase. It could mean more people liking posts, an increase in comments, or any number of "engagement" measures. Instead, specify what metrics you will be using to measure your goals.


NOTE: New Facebook Insights allow us to drill down further and identify even more specific engagement metrics.

Measurable
I want my fans to engage more
I want to increase People Talking About This by 30%  

Set a specific, measurable number. Making your goals measurable will help you know whether or not they have been achieved.
 

- See more at: http://socialmediaclub.org/blogs/from-the-clubhouse/smart-goals-social-media#sthash.JZuLeRGm.dpuf

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Here's a great way to get specific with measurement in social media progress, as well as understanding how to set specific goals.  


Also, goal setting can also be a limitation if used to rigidly.   As long as it is used as a tool and adjusted for progress toward a clear purpose, SMART makes semse.  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, July 12, 2013 2:06 PM

How to avoid those nebulous, relative phrases in goal setting - specific to Social Media.  This is re-Scooped from my companion Talent and Performance Development curation stream.  ~  Deb

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Beyond Performance Management (40 Tools & Why?) Change, Lean, 6 Sigma & more

Beyond Performance Management (40 Tools & Why?) Change, Lean, 6 Sigma & more | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"Just 30 percent of these tools deliver as intended. Why?  ...They’re misused by most organizations."


As Jeremy Hope and Steve Player reveal in Beyond Performance Management, while many tools are sound in theory, they’re misused by most organizations. 

For example, executives buy and implement a tool without first asking,

  • "What problem are we trying to solve?” 

And they use tools to command and control frontline teams, not empower them—a serious and costly mistake.
 

Issue No. 251 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting highlights a new book from Harvard Business Review Press on how to select the right management tool—at the right time. The authors describe 40 tools in detail.
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This helpful review highlights the framework that helps good and great performance happen with individuals, teams and in companies:  Choosing the best tools (and I'd add the best processes / change flow) at the right time to deliver right results.  

I bought the book and am reading it with great interest, as it is one of the few newer books that systemically look at  performance infrastructure.


This new book on the performance and talent management front seems to get it right including it's ambitious scope of trendy tools.   I'm reading it now and will share if it does or doesn't deliver.  ~  D

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Harry Cannon's curator insight, July 2, 2013 8:07 AM

Sounds like one to read. Certainly seen tools misunderstood and mis-used.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, July 2, 2013 4:45 PM
I'm 1/3rd into this book and it is REALLY on target. Great resource. Thanks for the comments from Suchitra and Harry. I so agree with the "not doing may be smarter" based on a solid review of what the needs and problems are.
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, July 29, 2013 3:47 PM
Ok, I've about finished the book. It does contribute in many helpful ways to breaking out of industrial mindsets that hamper creativity, innovation and collaboration sorely needed in organizational thinking today. It is a helpful checklist for assessing blind spots and "keeping up with the joneses" when such "best practices" in corporate measurement and reporting are not necessary and, even worse, a drain on productivity. Highly recommended!
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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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Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from Metaglossia: The Translation World
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Performance Appraisals, Numbers and Nuance. Behaviors and values matter.

Performance Appraisals, Numbers and Nuance.  Behaviors and values matter. | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

There’s a bogus belief that gets in managers’ way when they evaluate performance - deceptively quantifiable metrics.

... Consider a [...] job that seems to offer a deceptively quantifiable metric: the performance of a translator. How do you measure a translator's performance?


The obvious, easy, and wrong answer: the number of documents translated.    ... it takes no notice of what is genuinely important - the ability to capture nuance.


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...translates each word accurately [or] ...captures what the writer really intended."

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The ability isn't hard to evaluate accurately. Just take a document written in a foreign language and give it to two translators.   Then take their two translations to a native speaker and ask, "Which one got it right?"


The native speaker will read the two documents and then comfortably say, "This one translates each word accurately. But this one - this one captures what the writer really intended."


Photo credit: by WordShore via Flickr.com CC   


Via Charles Tiayon
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Assessment of performance includes clarifying what quality really means.  It isn't necessarily about volume in this example shows.  Would translators approve this measurement of this work?   Probably so.  ~  D

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Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
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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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Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Replacing Performance Appraisal with Better Practices

Replacing Performance Appraisal with Better Practices | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"The annual performance appraisal [does NOT] actually increase performance. So, what should replace them?  There are three strategic resources to replace the performance appraisal system:


  1. Key Predictive Indicators for Knowledge Workers
  2. The Manager’s Letter
  3. After-Action 



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Better to be approximately relevant rather than precisely irrelevant.

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Knowledge work is not defined by quantity, but quality; not by its costs, but results. The traditional tools of measurement need to be replaced by judgment. And there is a difference between a measurement and a judgment: a measurement requires only a scale; a judgment requires wisdom.

   

....So many leaders worry that if they get rid of objective measures, they will introduce subjective bias into the decision-making process. So what? To get rid of bias we would have to give up emotions and discernment, which is too high a price to pay. Neurologist Antonio Damasio has studied brain-damaged patients, demonstrating that without emotion it is impossible to make decisions.

    

Admittedly, the following KPIs raise rather than answer questions, but at least they raise the right questions. Better to be approximately relevant rather than precisely irrelevant. Enlightened organizations allow their team members to decide which of the following KPIs are most important to track and develop.



Related posts by Deb:


   


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is rich, practical post is also listed with "Innovation and Institutions"  since any organization that successfully dispenses with this deeply flawed practice is innovating indeed.  


So many leaders are reluctant to take this step under the guise of wanting to believe the metrics tied to appraisal are fully valid.  It's doubtful they are if subjective managers are making the call.   ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, June 15, 2013 3:42 PM

This is a wonderfully rich post on how to set forth good alternatives to this dreaded and deeply flawed practice.  It features how to get on the right path with "practical suggestion(s) to hold people accountable for their future contribution..."  ~  Deb

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, June 16, 2013 9:41 AM
From a Google+ post discussion with Vince: I think most metrics involving human beings are rife with subjectivity under the guise of objective measurement.

In my experience working with organizations designing their perf. mgmt. processes, there was a year that a business had minimal salary to distribute for the yearly program. They decided to do across the board increases with adjustments (those paid under a certain amount had a bigger increase.) They also, that year, completely severed the performance appraisal and salary link. Result: The performance review conversations completely changed. For the first time, staffers asked for additional time to complete the year end discussion, using it to really build understanding and plan for the year ahead (feed forward concept.)

If there was one business practice that would do much better, "resting in pieces," it would be performance "management."