Monday, 11 January 2010

Performance management or performance leadership...?

In preparation for a presentation the other day, I got to thinking about performance management - and I challenged myself to think about what I had learnt about the subject. First I wondered whether there is such a thing... I think you can manage people, you can understand performance and you can improve your own performance. But I was left wondering whether you can ever manage someone else's performance. Should we in fact be talking about performance leadership...? What do you think?

Beyond that - the following observations occurred to me:

  • People are strikingly different, so any 'regime of performance management needs to reflect this
  • Performance management is not just about skills & protocols, it is probably far more to do with relationships
  • Too much carrot or stick does not work. Too much carrot can easily become patronising or lead to the kind of excesses we have seen in financial institutions of late. Too much stick leads to some really odd behaviour
  • I think that attitude is key. If you believe, really believe, that people will work perform well then in my experience they usually do.
  • Appreciating people lies at the heart of good performance management.  Catching people doing the right things right helps hugely.
  • Performance management should be far less about forms and far more about conversations
  • Whilst I am not of the view that you can or indeed even should try to evidence everything, evidence is critical in having those conversations
  • Performance management only works with two way respect
  • The importance of good listening cannot be over estimated.
  • Performance management centred upon self management is critical. I don't believe it is the job of a manager to be a jiminy cricket.
What are your observations?

(Please add your comments below - thanks.)

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