Performance

Those Greta Garbo moments

Travelling back from Belfast recently, I found myself stuck in the airport waiting for a delayed plane.  I was already tired and getting increasingly stressed and irritable. Around me, other passengers were running up and down trying to work out which gate they needed, calming down bored children or just making the most of the facilities. … Continued

Is Captain America really 150 times better than Captain Jack Sparrow?

As a Learning and Development professional, I have an ongoing fascination with how best to measure Return on Investment (ROI).   I was however surprised to find so much of interest concerning the pitfalls of ROI calculations when reading about Forbes’ latest list of the most overpaid Hollywood actors. To compile its list, Forbes calculated a … Continued

DUMB Objectives

Like it or not, SMART objectives appear to be such a staple part of performance management that there are probably very few organisations where managers aren’t encouraged to discuss these on a regular basis with their direct reports.   There are however strong arguments against the whole Management by Objectives approach popularised by Peter Drucker in his … Continued

When Best Practice is actually Worst Practice!

Given my experience of appraisal systems, it’s hardly surprising I generally view them with a huge dollop of scepticism.  In one organisation, I was rated on a scale of one to ten for my punctuality, attitude towards supervision and appearance (amongst other things).  This might be fair enough for an entry level job, but as … Continued

More of the same or more of the different?

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” has been attributed to several people, ranging from Henry Ford to various NLP and personal development luminaries.  Going a bit further, Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” So with … Continued

The latest MBA: Management by App

One of things I’ve discovered since I started blogging and tweeting is how much I enjoy reading what other people have to say for themselves. One of the sites I regularly visit is Inc. – it’s guaranteed to provide something of interest and I frequently tweet links to their articles. For me, the best kind … Continued

Unstoppable leadership

I recently had a Twitter conversation that started like this: JamesYatesUSD: What does being UNSTOPPABLE mean to you what does it allow you to do? BetterMgr: Being unstoppable would allow me to do anything – is that a good thing? Definitely better than being unstartable though. Being a persistent man, James went on to ask … Continued

Half-baked managers fail to pass on their skills

Let me start by confessing how much I enjoy food.  I enjoy watching programmes about it, reading about it, anticipating it, cooking it and yes, I love eating it.  So, it was inevitable that sooner or later food would somehow creep into my writing about management. Two food-related things happened recently that got me thinking … Continued

I’m really not very interested in your feedback at the moment, thank you

There’s a lot written about how to make feedback constructive.  It is, or at least should be, one of the first things new managers learn.  But sometimes, even the most well-considered comments fall on deaf ears or provoke an unexpectedly strong reaction. Several years ago, I invited a builder round to size up various jobs … Continued

While we’re binning appraisal systems, let’s shred the SMART objectives too

Over the years, a compelling case for abandoning the formal performance appraisal system has been established.  Fred Nickols for example argues that it ‘devours staggering amounts of time and energy, depresses and demotivates people, destroys trust and teamwork and, adding insult to injury, it delivers little demonstrable value at great cost’. Less has been said … Continued

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