Performance Appraisal: Pathway to Mistrust

Robert Galford’s HBR Blog Network article, “How to keep your cool during a performance review” suggest there is a widespread abhorrence and likely fear of the annual performance review.  To make what is often a not-so-good experience better Robert offers four tactics: relax; prepare yourself to hear one or more unexpected ‘somethings’; if you don’t agree with the feedback, don’t launch into a defense right away; and when it is over, say thank you, reflect on the overall message and don’t file it and forget it.   While these are no doubt helpful toward making lemonade out of a lemon, they don’t mitigate the overall effect of the annual performance appraisal process. Continue reading

Rethinking a Fixed System

Is the system broken?  No, not at all!  It is fixed just as desired.

 

Our economic system has no (explicit) concern for ‘we’ in its design, it is all about ‘me’ getting what I can for ‘myself’—it is best labeled an egoistic economic system.  The pursuit of material self-interest is the guiding principle for all action. Continue reading

Hidden Leadership Lesson #31

Those in authority can provide leadership experience to people in their organization by striving to provide them the opportunity to realize joy in work.  Accordingly, in a New York Times interview, Ori Hadomi (CEO of Mazor Robitics) asserts, “It’s important that people are happy in what they do. I believe my role is not to make people work but to give them the right working conditions so that they will enjoy what they do.”  Although few would argue against a people-centered management approach yet far too many don’t put it into practice.  Continue reading

Better Questions Afford Better Solutions

There seems to be a debate over the use of standardized test results for accountability as the way to improve student achievement, and thus our education system.  Effectually, this debate is turning attention away from understanding the concrete educational experience toward the abstract measures.  No wonder teachers and children have to be incentivized to respectively teach and learn! Continue reading

Education, Work and Quality

Jared Bernstein offers valuable thoughts on the relationship between education and work.   He argues quite credibly that the wage return on higher education has leveled off since about the 1990’s.  Bernstein asserts this is not because of a mismatch between what corporations need and what higher education institutions provide.  However he does claim “we’d have a better economy/society with higher levels of educational attainment…to have smarter, better educated people in all of those jobs makes all the sense in the world.”

 

However the price one pays for his/her education should be commensurate with the ability that his/her education provides him/her to pay for it while at the same time affording the necessities of a healthy life. Continue reading

Reformer Education

A recent Huffington Post article describes the agreement and disagreement between Arne Duncan (Secretary of Education) and Dennis Van Roekel (President of National Teachers Association) over the preparation and evaluation of teachers respectively.  Sadly what is not being discussed—as can be inferred from the article—is the very process of learning. Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #29

In a New York Times interview Andrew M. Thompson, co-founder and C.E.O of Proteus, spoke about how he advances the capability of his company by creating and maintaining what he calls “ a leadership culture as opposed to a management culture.”  As Andrew noted, “culture in our company is a really big deal, and we have a values system built around quality, teamwork and leadership.” Continue reading

Privatize Society

Just how valid is the idea that privatization of society’s services to its citizens ensures the highest quality of service to people in society?  Let’s critically analyze by understanding the precepts of the private economic enterprise.  Continue reading