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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Amazon’s Social Rift: Ongoing Rank and Yank and Work / Life Non-Balance, NYT Video

Amazon’s Social Rift: Ongoing Rank and Yank and Work / Life Non-Balance, NYT Video | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
The recent New York Times article about Amazon inspired an unprecedented online conversation about workplace stress.


This video features highlights of the thousands of comments posted on the web.


_____________________________
   
...[Amazon seeks]  to manage out a certain percentage of its work force annually. The number varies from year to year.


_____________________________



From another New York Time article dated August 17th, 2015, is error about Amazon's performance culture:


An article by Amazon engineer, Nick Ciubotariu, was circulated by Amazon’s public relations department after The Times article was published. Mr. Ciubotariu describes strengths of the workplace, including focus on customers and innovation. He also wrote that “no one” was encouraged to “toil long and late,” and dismissed the concerns expressed by many women at the company, which does not include any women on its top leadership team.

    

His points contradicted the accounts of many former and current colleagues, and some of his assertions were incorrect, including a statement that the company does not cull employees on an annual basis. An Amazon spokesman previously confirmed that the company sought to manage out a certain percentage of its work force annually. The number varies from year to year.

 


Related culture & performance posts by Deb:

      

   
   
   



Photo credit:  Soumit Nandi Flickr Creative Commons

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This brief 30 second video (click on the title or photo or link) is definitely worth a look on what a very large, 21st century profit and high growth minded company with a competitive culture looks like.  Amazon also features a traditional, 20th century, performance "rank and yank" evaluation system. It is more euphemistically called the Vitality Curve, or as stated above, managing out a certain percentage of its work force annually.  

Rank and yank can be a welcome temporary purge to a company that struggling.  Organizations that are stuck in the past, burdened with lower performance staff, or other low performance ills have had some success with the "Vitality Curve. Yet for the company to use it consistently, rather than temporarily speaks volumes on what is important and not important at Amazon.  ~ Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, August 19, 2015 1:08 PM

This brief 30 second video is definitely worth a look on what a very large, 21st century profit and high growth minded company with a competitive culture looks like.  Amazon also features a traditional, 20th century, performance "rank and yank" evaluation system. It is more euphemistically called the Vitality Curve, or as stated above, managing out a certain percentage of its work force annually.  

While "rank and yank" can be a welcome temporary purge to a company that is stuck, burdened with lower performance staff, and so forth, to use it consistently, rather than temporarily speaks volumes on what is important and not important at Amazon.  


Also posted in Talent and Performance Development.  ~ Deb

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Accenture, Another Big Firm to get Rid of Annual Performance Reviews and Rankings

Accenture, Another Big Firm to get Rid of Annual Performance Reviews and Rankings | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
As of September, one of the largest companies in the world will do all of its employees and managers an enormous favor: It will get rid of the annual performance review.

Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme told The Washington Post that the professional services firm, which employs hundreds of thousands of workers in cities around the globe, has been quietly preparing for this “massive revolution” in its internal operations.

“Imagine, for a company of 330,000 people, changing the performance management process—it’s huge,” Nanterme said. “We’re going to get rid of probably 90 percent of what we did in the past.”

The firm will disband rankings and the once-a-year evaluation process starting in fiscal year 2016, which for Accenture begins this September. It will implement a more fluid system, in which employees receive timely feedback from their managers on an ongoing basis following assignments.

Accenture is joining a small but prominent list of major corporations that have had enough with the forced rankings, the time-consuming paperwork and the frustration engendered among managers and employees alike. Six percent of Fortune 500 companies have gotten rid of rankings, according to management research firm CEB.
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

WHOA, Accenture is STILL using RANKINGS?  It is little wonder, then, that they are jettisoning 90% of their current system.  Rankings were considered OLD school in the 80s, based on lessons learned of the demoralization and loss of mentors via GE's vitality curve, also known as rank and yank.


For context: GE and Jack Welch’s stack ranking policies, which focused on ranking employees and firing the lowest 10% of performers was credited, by proponents, with creating a 28-fold increase in earnings and a 5-fold increase in revenue at GE between 1981 and 2001. However, when other companies tried the same approach, it reportedly led to widespread dishonesty, mistrust, and productivity loss among workers.


A 2013 survey by WorldatWork, quotes the method is used by about 12% of US corporations, whereas the The Corporate Executive Board Company, it is used by 29% of companies.[

Rob Ender is quoted saying that downsides of stacked ranking, as one employee competes with aother, include how it disrupts collaboration and innovation as employees don't want somebody else to be successful. So it creates a culture of shutting down ideas.


Generally, ranking systems seem akin to 20th century practices based in to Frederik Taylor's scientific management.  His work was more suited to starting up the industrial age, than helping us move fully into the information age and specialization.  ~  Deb




 



That the firm "will implement a more fluid system, in which employees receive timely feedback from their managers on an ongoing basis following assignments" - seems like good old common sense. Of course, in follow-the-money hierarchies, common sense is not so common.

If any of your followers are interested in alternatives, here's the piece I wrote on it: http://reveln.com/6-steps-beyond-industrial-age-performance-appraisals/

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Giving Feedback: Remembering the Ideal Praise-to-Criticism Ratio | HBR

Giving Feedback: Remembering the Ideal Praise-to-Criticism Ratio | HBR | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

The 5 to 1 ratio, "it’s the secret to high-performing teams — and strong marriages."  It's a classic feedback guide worth revisiting to do a self-check for the performance of your own business community.

Excerpt:   

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,” or “That’s a terrific idea”

to negative comments:  “I don’t agree with you,” and “We shouldn’t even consider doing that,” that the participants made to one another. Negative comments could go as far as sarcastic or disparaging remarks. 

 
The average ratio for the highest-performing teams was 5.6, nearly six positive comments for every negative one. The medium-performance teams averaged 1.9, almost twice as many positive comments than negative ones. Low-performing teams were at 0.36 to 1, almost three negative comments for every positive one.
     
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. “Effectiveness” was measured according to financial performance, customer satisfaction ratings, and 360-degree feedback ratings of the team members.
    
Related posts by Deb, :

 

6 Choices for High Performance Teams, Groups and Psuedo-Teams: Achievement Is How You Say It!


3 Success Factors for High Performance Teams, and What Gets In the Way  (Includes M. Losada research)


Beyond Resilience: Givers, Takers, Matchers and Anti-Fragile Systems

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This research is very useful for peer feedback & teams, as well as leaders.  It helps organizations improve strategic and adaptive thinking, doing, as well as becoming more resilient and "antifragile.'  ~  Deb

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Letting Go: 6 Steps Beyond Industrial Age Performance Appraisals

Letting Go:  6 Steps Beyond Industrial Age Performance Appraisals | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"It takes courage, tenacity and teamwork to let go of performance appraisal practices and industrial age thinking.  In our  post 9-11, post financial meltdown, "New Normal,"  business will never be as it was.  Can we let go?"


A1998 article about ending appraisals in favor of the APOP, the Annual Piece of Paper is one way to go.   Using an approach like the APOP or a two box annual conversation method, Meets [or Exceeds], Does not Meet, as mentioned in the video, is a step in the right direction. It is a form of incremental change, very similar to the Adobe Systems “check-ins” featured here in more detail.  Adobe’s 2012 system moved away from individualized ranking and ratings.  


The full post includes a short video that features asking a "beautiful question:      


Why are we doing things the way we’ve been doing them the past 20 years—what if we tried a whole new approach?      Thank you Warren Berger, author of “A Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas (2014)


It also covers why using Pass / Fail evaluation systems can help.


See the video and full post here.


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is my own video and post about performance review systems or appraisals.

The video embodies the D X V X F > R, change model, originally invented by Gleicher and popularized by Kathie Dannemiller.   The video covers assessing readiness, Dissatisfaction, the need to explain why make a change, the Vision, and First Steps to overcome Resistance to Change - along with our our Industrial Age / command and control, Theory X (McGregor) mindsets.  


A new path is emerging, but it is a slow path in business.  ~  Deb 

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, August 19, 2014 12:59 PM

This is my own video and post about performance review systems or appraisals.  It  is embedded within change principles, which is why I've posted it here as well as in the Talent & Performance Development curation news.    The video embodies the D X V X F > R, change model, originally invented by Gleicher and popularized by Kathie Dannemiller.   The video covers assessing readiness, Dissatisfaction, the need to explain why make a change, the Vision, and First Steps to overcome Resistance to Change - along with our our Industrial Age / command and control, Theory X (McGregor) mindsets.  

A new path is emerging, but it is a slow path in business.  ~  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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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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The New HR Organization is a Talent Machine 2014

The New HR Organization is a Talent Machine  2014 | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"HR 2014 Future Trend findings by Bersin of Deloitte Analyst based on interviews with organizations on the Future of HR."


Excerpted:


1. Talent Management Defines HR


Microsoft's recently announced they've done away with forced ranking. ...HR's role was to spearhead this change - beyond the basics (payroll, employee relations, time and attendance, compliance.)  The basics are NOT enough to be competitive.


2. Integrated Talent Management Has Shifted to Optimized Talent Management.   ... "Optimization" = how can they better compete to attract, retain, and engage their aging workforce?


3. HR Business Partner Roles Have to Change Dramatically

This item features a special performance consulting group...of five senior HR specialists (staffing, OD, learning, labor relations) working on special talent projects. They diagnosed a problem in one unit as a lack of employment brand in one of the areas they serve. They worked with the recruiting team to build a local, highly tuned employment branding program - with internships, local universities and new sourcing tools - to gain access to engineers. Within a few quarters the problem started to go away.


Could a generalist have done this without a lot of help? Unlikely.


4.  Business Thinking and Data Are Now Critical to Success

...build talent analytics and workforce planning capabilities so [HR] can prove that we're delivering impact.

Photo: gilmorec Flickr cc


Related posts by Deb:

Choices for High Performance Teams, Groups and Psuedo-Teams: Achievement Is How You Say It

     

Beyond Resilience: Givers, Takers, Matchers and Anti-Fragile Systems

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I'd define the 2014 term as Talent Development.  Traditional management techniques are changing too.  Many of the bigger companies, including Microsoft as cited in this article, have been slow to change.  Mid-size  and more agile large companies have long ago dropped forced rankings, for example.


Mid-size and larger companies are also building in Business Intelligence, data access that is accessible by more than the traditional management / leadership elite.  This is also changing the nature of business.

Bersin's views capture approaches already in place in leading companies, the exact point of this curation stream.  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, December 11, 2013 4:08 PM

I'd define the 2014 term as Talent Development.  Traditional management techniques are changing too.  Many of the bigger companies, including Microsoft as cited in this article, have been slow to change.  Mid-size  and more agile, adaptable large companies have dropped forced rankings long ago.


Mid-size and larger companies are also building in Business Intelligence, data access that is accessible by more than the traditional management / leadership elite.  This is also changing the nature of business.

Bersin's views capture approaches already in place in leading companies, the exact point of this curation stream.


From Talent and Performance Development 

http://www.scoop.it/t/talent-and-performance-development 

news.   ~  D

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Grammy-Nominated Musician Uses Songwriting To Foster High Quality Connections, to Do Your Job Better

Grammy-Nominated Musician Uses Songwriting To Foster High Quality Connections, to Do Your Job Better | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Grammy-nominated songwriter and Bob Dylan's son-in-law Peter Himmelman uses the techniques he mastered as a veteran rock n’ roller to create momentary connections between people that open up organizational creativity and help people overcome fear and risk-aversion so common in organizations.


Professor Jane Dutton's work with High Quality Connections, HQCs, is included.  


Related posts & tools by Deb:


        

           

    

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

It's great to read of Jane Dutton's work, at work, in a new context with music.  Creativity, the magic of music and high quality connections go together, naturally.  The work application is marvelous and useful!

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Performance Management Reinvented: Five Factors for Success

White Paper:  Performance Management: Five Factors for Success By Russ Silva, EVP Enterprise Solutions, LSA Global.


Related posts by Deb:
     

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

       


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

       


Choices for High Performance Teams, Groups and Psuedo-Teams: Achievement Is How You Say It!

   

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Pros:  Correctly identifies the wide-spread corporate cultural problems of boss-ism.  


Cons:  Has a Taylor-esque (Industrial Age) management and staff flavor of thinkers and doers.    


Silva covers a lot of ground in a few pages and gets to the nuggets of talent and performance development problems in performance management.  ~  Deb

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Are Annual Performance Reviews Like the Hotel California? You Can Never Leave?

Are Annual Performance Reviews Like the Hotel California?  You Can Never Leave? | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

[The] diosyncratic seasonal events [for] HR .... the annual performance appraisal:

       

  • They are time-consuming, involve too much paperwork
           
  • HR would even do better to drop them altogether and find a better performance-management tool. 
       
  • ...Management consultancy Hay Group found half of public sector workers and one-third of business leaders describe appraisals as a box-ticking exercise. 
      

A recent US poll of 2,677 people (1,800 employees, 645 HR managers, and 232 CEOs) by San Francisco-based rewards-and-recognition consulting firm Achievers revealed 98% of staff find annual performance reviews unnecessary.

    

  • Among the 2,677 respondents, a quarter were HR professionals.

    

Edward Lawler, professor of business at University of Southern California, reacted by declaring: "Performance appraisals are dead." But he also unveiled research showing 93% of companies use annual appraisals, and only 6% have considered dropping them.

   

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:

The song by the Eagles, regarding our long ties to performance reviews:  "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

In this post, it's useful to read the comments, most of which are about still attempting to tweak performance management systems.


A final commenter suggests:

"...The fundamental false assumption is that performance is due to the people when research and case studies show that it is due almost wholly on the system, i.e. the way the work works.

Replacing appraisals with a different approach frees people to do what they really want, deliver better service, reduce costs and increases morale. What more do you want!"

As for who is actually doing this, I've listed links above to help.   ~  Deb 

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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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Pay-for-Performance, A trade-off for Trust & Commitment

Pay-for-Performance, A trade-off for Trust & Commitment | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
Paying your employees more for hitting specific targets may backfire, according to HBS professor Michael Beer .


..."I think there is an implicit negotiation going on between what management wants and expects, and what employees want and expect," observed Beer in his talk to HBS faculty. This implicit negotiation is "embedded" in the context of pay-for-performance, but often goes undiscussed and unacknowledged, he suggested. Misunderstandings about goals are the result. Pay-for-performance may also have a natural life cycle that managers are unaware of, he said.


Financial rewards in a fast-changing business environment could undermine a company's ability to build trust and commitment unless management and employees have an honest discussion of their mutual expectations, they added. This is "very difficult to do."


Related posts by Deb:

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


Choices for High Performance Teams, Groups and Psuedo-Teams: Achievement Is How You Say It!

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

In my experience, pay continues as a satisfier, never a motivator. This HBR working knowledge article classic illustrates the nuances as well as the nusances of attempting to reconcile the hierarchy barriers of expectations in pay-for-performance.  Compensate fairly, motivate systemically & holistically. ~  Deb

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Factors which make a performance management system successful? PMS indeed.

Factors which make a performance management system successful? PMS indeed. | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
A successful PMS (performance management system) drives the QMS (quality management system) which in turn ensures that the best quality service is delivered to every customer every time.
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Yes, that's my title for this ScoopIt, not the author's.  PMS, post menstrual syndrome of the industrial age, indeed.

Sorry, I'm not seeing it here.  This is a cautionary tale post about 90's era PMS (individually based, behavior & competency-based, yada yada) performance management systems - which describe all the pieces and parts, but not the Return On Investment, ROI.  


There are shades of B.F. Skinner reinforcement of dog training in sight (getting people to respond to rewards.)  For more on this, take a look at Alfie Kohn for some shock therapy via "Punished by Rewards" and then the classic, well researched work of Frederick Herzberg on Achievement.

I continue to search for solid evidence that all this structuring focused on top down, directive management (mgr. conducts appraisals) provides great results.  I am not finding it.  


Great, high performing managers seem to be the game changer for PMS (the perf. management system) working.  No surprises there.


Dressing up top down scientific management (F. W. Taylor, industrial age era) as knowledge worker era systemic systems, is a lot of work for limited results, depending, of course, on the manager.  


~  Deb

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Why Some Teams Perform Better than Others: The Secret Ingredient

Why Some Teams Perform Better than Others: The Secret Ingredient | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Culture defines any business, yet it's also one of the hardest things to manage. In this extract from her TED Book, Margaret Heffernan describes the important, often-overlooked element necessary to build an effective, efficient organization: social capital."

     
...Having a high aggregate intelligence or just one or two superstars wasn’t critical. The groups that surfaced more and better solutions shared three key qualities.
   
  • First, they gave one another roughly equal time to talk. This wasn’t monitored or regulated, but no one in these high-achieving groups dominated or was a passenger. Everyone contributed and nothing any one person said was wasted.
   
  • The second quality ...was social sensitivity: these individuals were more tuned in to one another, to subtle shifts in mood and demeanor. They scored more highly on a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes, which is broadly considered a test for empathy. 
  • The third distinguishing feature was that the best groups included more women, perhaps because that made them more diverse, or because women tend to score more highly on tests for empathy. What this (and much more) research highlights is just how critical the role of social connectedness can be.
    
   ...In large organizations, ...A functional head will challenge a regional head and then they will reverse roles. This way, they learn the exigencies and contingencies of both positions; they start to see common themes, ways they can help and support each other, and empathy grows.
       
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Social capital, here, features the ability to let go of a singular perspective and take on the perspective of another.  Here it is the key way to expand understanding and take on a system perspective more fully. The complexities of a system become accessible in empathy and social capital investment.  Business intelligence, in this way includes metrics and so much more.  ~  Deb

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James Rigby's curator insight, March 2, 2016 9:38 AM

A really great blog!

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Talent Wins: 4 Strategies to Ramp Up Retention

Talent Wins: 4 Strategies to Ramp Up Retention | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Successful organizations focus on people as well as profits, built with talented staff that take action as co-owners of the business. Twenty-first century talent retention practices can build greater success in your organization. Here’s are 4 ways leaders can help this happen:

    

1) Check your “hire smart” bench strength & compensation

Nothing breeds success like talented staff and the ability to pay them at the going market rate.  Nothing works right if you don’t have these two basics as your foundation. It’s hard to keep the great staff you have with lower market pay, and it’s hard to succeed with staff that are sub-par for what you need, and cannot adapt to what’s needed and next for your business.  

        

Make sure your hiring process is top-notch using behavioral and performance based questions and follow-through. Don’t hesitate to make change if staffing mistakes have been holding your business back from success.

       

2) Tune how you give feedback, people preferences matter First, GIVE the positive feedback. So many leaders do not do this.  Whether you are a colleague, peer leader or supervisor, 75% of people like to hear specifics about their good work, AND 25% do not. Tune what you say to your peers and direct reports to offer, in general, a 5-1 ratio of positive as well as performance improvement feedback.

    

Based in recent research,  the 5-1 ratio  creates credible feedback that builds intrinsic motivation and high performance teams. For the other 25% make sure they have resources and your full support to develop and excel. They don’t need much more than that.

    

3) Have performance conversations

Performance appraisal is a relic from the 20th century industrial age. Instead, have ongoing, informal performance conversations for both groups and one on one. 

   

4) Have a retention conversations

Retention conversations or “stay interviews,” a term coined from research by Dr. John Sullivan, a former talent executive, happen along with regular conversation with your peers and teams. These conversations include questions like:

      

What do you like best about working here?

What do you consider to be the best work you’ve ever done here?

If you could do your best work of your life, what would that be?
    

Also see on REVELN:  

       

     

Recent REVELN ScoopIt posts on this topic:


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

 


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

More questions for the "stay" conversation, which can be woven into regular conversations with your staff, peers and direct reports are in the original article here.  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, April 1, 2015 1:21 PM

What makes for best practices for 21st century talent retention? Review these 4 practices to see if your organization is up-to-date. ~  Deb

    

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Major Trends Altering the Workplace Landscape

Major Trends Altering the Workplace Landscape | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Where will work be in the future? And where will workers be? The economic, social, and technological landscape is shifting rapidly. Here are some of the major trends altering the future workplace.


Via Kenneth Mikkelsen
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Read Mikkelsen's summary by clicking on the red "Reactions" below.  There's a lot there.   A good deal of it reminds me of 20th century industrial age corporatism.

An alternative is this: 


Change in the Nature of Work: The Case For "Antiwork" and the 20 hour Work Week 


 for these reasons:    

"...we see the persistent belief that we can achieve 'full employment.' Rifkin showed empirically that this is nonsense, unless we create a lot of make-work, i.e., work for the sake of working. And that’s what, as a society, we seem to be doing. Everywhere you look there are stupid, pointless (and probably environmentally destructive) jobs."

~  Deb

 

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Kenneth Mikkelsen's curator insight, February 11, 2015 5:39 PM

Among the many broad trends affecting the future workplace and workers are:


  • More workplace flexibility will be demanded by new highly skilled workers, but most workers will also accept the need to work longer total hours.
  • The “workplace” for any given job is likely to continue to spread over multiple time zones or continents, with workers connecting through a growing range of media channels.
  • There will be a greater premium placed on knowledge workers who ask constructive questions concerning an employer’s mission, as well as their customers, market values, desired results, and evolving marketing and business plans.
  • Workers and managers will focus more on simplifying workloads versus just getting it all done, which reduces the risk of missing critical innovation opportunities.
  • Managers will promote health and wellness programs that focus on helping workers quit smoking, lose weight, or deal with depression, because healthy employees are more productive and miss fewer days because of poor health.
  • Employers will embrace less-expensive employee recruiting through social networks (this reached 94% of employers this last year, reports Jobvite.com). And hirers are relying more on critical thinking skills tests like the Collegiate Learning Assessment, rather than on just college grades and degrees to assess candidates.
  • More than 75% of U.S. employees are almost continuously looking for work while employed, and they hold nearly a dozen different jobs on average before age 35.
  • Employers are using personal reputation (strong track records) to make hiring decisions and 75% of jobseekers are using company “brand” in the same way, even accepting a lower salary to work with a desired firm.
  • Approximately one-third of Americans in the workforce (17 million workers) are freelance contractors and consultants. This means more people working from home without employer-sponsored health-care benefits.
  • And 30% of U.S. workers are on flextime when working from home (or other locations) two to three days a week. As well, some studies have found increased productivity of as much as 15%–20% for these flextime workers.
Nedko Aldev's curator insight, February 14, 2015 1:04 PM

add your insight...

375
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Classic, Systemic Performance Insight > Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

Classic, Systemic Performance Insight > Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Why the best doctors are so good, and how the rest can learn to improve.  These are useful, classic lessons for all of us in better understanding performance, both individual and systemic.


Excerpts:


Gawande divides the essays into three sections — “Diligence,” “Doing Right” and “Ingenuity” — based on the components “for success in medicine or in any endeavor that involves risk and responsibility.”

Each essay focuses on a problem — the importance of hand-washing, health care delivery in India, the role of physicians in executions — that Gawande uses to anchor wide-ranging reflections.

...Gawande shows us that hand-washing turns out to be a profoundly complex and... that the moral obligations of physicians to death-row patients are not as clear as life and death, and that providing care to the poorest in the world takes a degree of ingenuity that should be categorized not simply as “better” but as downright heroic.


Related tools & posts by Deb:

      

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I highly recommend this well written collection of insightful performance stories.   

Gawande demonstrates how focusing on patients, performance and the big picture, the system, leads to improvement for people and the profession.    So much change fails, as he illustrates, without systemic intervention and peer-to-peer learning and engagement.

He uses history, story, numbers and his own experience to provide compelling insights useful to understanding systems thinking in performance.  

His early examples and accounts of of controlling infection in hospitals provides an excellent view of how difficult it is to make changes in systems, and that it also is possible, and heroic to affect change with the right approach as well as dogged determination. ~ D

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, February 20, 2014 2:19 PM

The book isn't new, but its insights into improving performance is compelling in using case examples for how challenging it is to help  change take hold in complex, resistant to systems - even when the intent to change is strong. ~ D

Richard Platt's curator insight, February 25, 2014 9:39 AM

This is also an excellent example of how to understand and create Use Cases.  


The original curator of this scoop, Deb from Revelyn Highly recommended this collection of insightful performance stories.  

Gawande demonstrates how focusing on patients, performance and the big picture, the system, leads to improvement for people and the profession.  

He uses history, story, numbers and his own experience to provide compelling insights useful to understanding systems thinking in performance.  His early examples and accounts of of controlling infection in hospitals provides an excellent view of how difficult it is to make changes in systems, and that it also is possible, and heroic to affect change with the right approach as well as dogged determination.

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Hire & Fire is Different at Holacracy®-Powered Companies

Hire & Fire is Different at Holacracy®-Powered Companies | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
In a typical top-down management structure, the power to hire and fire employees is generally in the hands of managers.


With the decentralization of authority, the separation of people and role, and the dynamic evolution of those roles, [its] more like free agents going about their work with no central planning.  This then begs the question: who can decide how and when to hire or fire?


Holacracy doesn’t answer that question; it simply gives you a framework and processes for your company to figure it out. 


Brian Robertson — designed a 3-Tier Partnership App to answer a different question: “How can we account for the difference between partners deeply committed to the organization, and those for whom the commitment is lesser and more temporary?”


  • It separates “partnership commitment” from financial compensation.
    
  • It defines three tiers of partners: Standard Partner, Tenured Partner, and Core Partner. Each tier requires a higher level of commitment to the organization, and in return offers a higher level of commitment from the organization.
     
  • It was designed for a relatively small organization.
    
   

Related posts & tools by Deb:



                
       

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Social media is an artifact of a new age, choice driven, commitment oriented.  Holacracy is at the cutting edge of how this looks in adaptive organizations that thrive on flatter, open structures.   It's an open question:  Will it scale?


Comparing and contrasting holacracy used at a biggger company, Zappos, is on my companion Change Leadership Watch ScoopIt here entitled:


Zappos is going Holacratic: No Job Titles, No Managers, No Hierarchy

~  Deb 

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Stretch Goals, Pay for Performance Boondoggles: Why Goal Setting Doesn't Work

Stretch Goals, Pay for Performance Boondoggles:  Why Goal Setting Doesn't Work | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"Goal setting doesn't work."  There are times it can be helpful, but as a performance tool, reconsider.


Goal behavior:

  • 34% of Americans are overweight and a further 34% are obese.... Despite the proliferation of weight loss programs that usually focus on weight-loss goals. ...the problem may be inherent in the validity of goal setting.

  • Recent neuroscience research shows the brain works in a protective way, resistant to change. Therefore, any goals that require substantial behavioral change or thinking-pattern change will automatically be resisted. ...When fear of failure creeps into the mind of the goal setter it commences a de-motivator with a desire to return to known, comfortable behavior and thought patterns."
     
  • Aubrey Daniels, author of, Oops! 13 Management Practices That Waste Time and Money, ...cites a study that shows when individuals repeatedly fail to reach stretch goals their performance declines. Another study showed 10% of employees actually achieved stretch goals. 
     

The authors of Goals Gone Wild, [identify] negative side effects associated with goal setting: "An overly narrow focus that neglects non-goal areas; a rise in unethical behavior; distorted risk preferences; corrosion of organizational culture; and reduced intrinsic motivation."


Related posts & tools by Deb:



Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Well, if "distorted risk preferences; corrosion of organizational culture; and reduced intrinsic motivation" isn't enough to question goal-setting practices of yore, then perhaps the status quo is a bit too comfortable to challege this performance myth.  


~  Deb

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The Performance Preview, an Alternative to Performance Review

The Performance Preview, an Alternative to Performance Review | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Management consultant and UCLA professor Samuel Culbert offers a solid alternatives to problematic performance review practices in his 2008 book “Get Rid of the Performance Review:” 


  • In chapters 7 and 8, I offer the alternative—the performance preview. It’s as simple and elegant as it is successful. It does all the things performance reviews are supposed to do but don’t. 
      
  • In the end you will see what many of you already know in your heart: that mainstream management is embedded in, and relies on, a culture of domination—and that the performance review is the biggest hammer management has. 
      
  • You will see how the review destroys our spirit, as well as our corporate performance. You will see how the same people who created this sorry mess have the power to undo it. And you will see that there is a way to fix it, if only we have the courage.
     

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:

"If only we have the courage," is a key observation by Culbert.

Risk-aversion, low courage, and avoidance is a malaise that can affect segements of, or even entire corporate cultures.  

Key points of Dr. Culbert's frank writings include:  

  • separating compensation from performance reviews, 
  • taking a look at the role of hierarchy to include that of a boss asking  “how can I help you achieve your best?” 
  • ending low value pratices like ranking and ratings.

     ~  Deb
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Actions Speak Loudly: Corporate Values that Mean Nothing

Actions Speak Loudly:  Corporate Values that Mean Nothing | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"What does your company stand for? Go ahead, look around you; check out the published mission or values statement. Take a moment to read it. Now do a gut check.  ... Did you disdainfully roll your eyes?"


Here’s a thought: what if every time leaders did something counter to their company’s values, their noses grew? Like the famed puppet Pinocchio, ...when a misguided decision was flying in the face of what your company stands for?


Whimsical, yes, but wouldn’t it be effective? The offenders would be immediately called out to account for their actions.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Often truth telling, calling espoused values to consciousness when bossism and "rank and yank"  (forced distribution of performance reviews), poor management skills, and other bossisms  emerge is a risky business, especially in non-profits, known for low investments in leader and manager performance development.


Dilbert actually has done one, if not more "nose growing" comic strips dealing with the misalignment of values and management / leader actions.    

Who's courageous enough to call these out?   Does it happen in your organization?   ~  Deb

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Talent and Performance Development

Talent and Performance Development | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence."


~ Ted Key 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This quote is usually misattributed, as listed here.  Ted Key, an American cartoonist and writer  (1912-2008) did a series of posters.  This particular illustrated saying achieved popularity.

It is quite appropriate to Talent and Performance Development's curation stream.


The saying has been frequently cited, but Key has rarely been credited. 


Wikipedia: Ted Key 
Ted Key, born Theodore Keyser (August 25, 1912 – May 3, 2008), was an American cartoonist and writer. He is best known as the creator of the cartoon panel Hazel, which was later the basis for a television series of the same name. 

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Creativity and Innovation IRONY: Sample Performance Review Phrases

Creativity and Innovation IRONY: Sample Performance Review Phrases | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

From Deb -  copy and paste your creativity and innovation performance review phrases here:

  • Emma’s ability to change direction when required is an asset to the team.
  • Tom is an innovator at heart – his skill at inspiring new ideas is an asset to our team.
      
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:
Consider:
  • Creativity,
  • Innovation,
  • Performance Reviews.  


One of these is not like the others.

Is this the best we can do, capturing stock phrases from a book to get us through the performance review ritual?   There is research on the Innnovation & Institutions curation stream that creativity, displayed to your co-workers, actually makes people squirm.

The photo with this excerpt is ironic because, if you read most of what I Scoop or post on this stream, you'll see that creativity and innovation does not lend itself to be captured by an industrial age vintage practice that pretends to be effective at facilitating performance management.


Major issues:
     

The numbers are dismal for the practice, though we keep trying to fix it (companion ScoopIt on this curation stream).

    
Managers need continuous training deal with wide variation in their feedback and appraisal practices in order to attempt to create consistency in ratings.  
    

Staff largely dread the practice, although they hope for good data and feedback to help them succeed in their work.

    

Overall, the return on investment for this embedded organizational practice is low, to the point that the end of performance reviews is predicted by one of the people who first coined the term, Aubrey Daniels.


Slideshare here:

From Chaos to Creative Performance Development in a VUCA World (Ending Performance Appraisals)

   

~  Deb

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No More Criticism, No Advice: Emotions Drive Achievement & Performance ~ Classic

No More Criticism, No Advice:  Emotions Drive Achievement & Performance ~ Classic | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

This classic article "Escape from the Red Zone" has very current ideas.  "Peter Naylor and Claire Crittenden have a revolutionary approach in their Seven Practices listed in this article about confronting the business world's last taboo: emotion."


Excerpts:


People are motivated by either "red" emotions -- anger, fear, greed -- or "green" emotions -- genuine enthusiasm and confidence. Either ...gets results. Yet one set of emotions ...slowly destroys people; the other can actually improve people's quality of life.


__________________________


Flattery, advice, criticism, and motivation rob workers of their freedom and ignore the...emotional current ...between manager and subordinate

__________________________


...All organizations in the contemporary world manipulate emotion, warp it, force it into the red zone...   A few, and only a few, are struggling to get well.


...Their alternative model for organizational life and the politics of emotion has simple ground rules:

  • No flattery. 
  • No advice. 
  • No criticism. 
    

...No telling people how to do their jobs -- outside of a genuine training environment. Never. At all. Period.

        

__________________________

   

Recognize achievement, let the numbers speak for themselves. 
   

__________________________


...Flattery, advice, criticism, and motivation rob workers of their freedom and ignore the essential emotional current that runs through encounters between manager and subordinate," Naylor says.   Nine times out of ten, that emotional current is red: a Molotov cocktail of anger and fear, grounded in feelings of subjugation.


_______________________
 

If you do this over a period of time -- design and validation -- people will be transformed."

_______________________



..."The problem is, people don't want to be responsible. But when you give advice, who now has the responsibility? Anyone here ever heard of empowerment? If you do this over a period of time -- design and validation -- people will be transformed."

    

Excerpts from the seven (7) practices that make it work:

    


1. Don't give advice, explore emotions.   ...ask, "How do you feel about this?" Keep asking it, adding only, "Gee, that's interesting, tell me more." ...Later it's appropriate to return to problem-solving mode -- even if it's only 15 minutes later.

    


2. Don't set goals; design outcomes.   Envision a "product" for every project, something tangible.   ....Clarify...product, the actions, the benefits. Get them down on paper.


     


3: Never criticize, only validate.   Do it on paper, in tangible, solid form. Recognize achievement, let the numbers speak for themselves. 

  


Source:   "Escape from the Red Zone" featuring Peter Naylor and Claire Crittenden by writer David E. Dorsey In Fast Company magazine.


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This classic article from the 1997 is worth a second look today.  The connection to brain science is very current.

I also think emotion and beliefs / the spiritual are both the last taboos in business  (belief / the spiritual via an example in  Theory U and Otto Scharmer.)   


I've also posted this piece on my Motivation curation stream.   It's relevant for anyone who has a work relationship with anyone else.

 ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, October 29, 2013 1:20 PM

This is a classic article from the 90's who time has come.  You've probably heard that all buying is emotional?   This article brings it into the heart of organizational, team and personal performance.  It's a revolutionary approach that needs a wider audience.  Hopefully, it will get one.   


I found the article because I had been searching for the "fire hydrants" story for awhile.  I remembered reading it in the 90s.  The trail led me back to find this FastTimes article.  ~  Deb

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A History of Performance Appraisals, Letting Go - REVELN

"...provides a context for performance appraisals, ratings and reviews as very old ideas compared to organizational leadership pioneers and what's next.  Can we change our behaviorist-rooted habits?"


Performance management, defined in the 1970s, is rooted in scientific management. It is possible to acknowledge history, realize its impact on our business systems, and let go to embrace new strategies.


See the full blog post here:

    

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


Related posts also by Deb:

   

     

      

 



Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This presentation is additional context for my MISHRM 2013 presentation on "From Chaos to Creative: Performance Development in a VUCA World" in Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 8th, 2013 | 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM   ~  Deb

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