ooops, I am late...

the « real » value of people vs. appraisals

Ooops, it is midday. My newsletter is late for your morning coffee; late for a made promise; late for a result I should have achieved or maintained, this week...
Does that mean that the possibility of delivering my weekly thoughts is out of the window, just because they reach you at a later time?
Wouldn’t that imply that I’d appraise being on time more than the actual delivery of ideas, the text itself? 

Assessing a service, a performance or work in general predominantly by whether it is on time or not, is looking only at a very small part of it. I am by no means saying that being on time is not important, but its importance can and should be put into context and severely challenged. The real value, quality, depth and interest of labour and its results are far more complex…
This is why I am regularly surprised about the foundations of key performance or outcome indicators, as well as general factors for success in schools and companies. They are unfortunately and way too often detrimental to create interesting and complex « real value » in the long run. 

The more you focus on the results, the slower the process. 
The more you focus on the process, the faster the results.

Alexander Den Heijer

I am convinced that the management is accountable for creating the system that staff, tutors and students work in. This information should be shared openly every single day. Additionally to it’s accountability, management must also create a working environment where everybody is self-motivated (Dazsko, 2018). Motivation and the will to spend 10 hours a day in an office or a classroom are not only obtained through objectives and bonuses, at least for me.

If employees are somehow trapped in a poor system that has been developed by managers without systems knowledge, there is no hope that an individual can succeed without manipulating and distorting the numbers and the system for his or her own benefit. The system then produces a few winners, many losers, suboptimal results, and a poor morale (Dazko, 2018). Also, should the management be part of the losers, while the critical underdogs are on a winning streak, guess who’s leaving first? Only enforcing suboptimal results, and a poor morale.

In her book « Pivot, Disrupt, Transform », Maria Dazko mentions that being accountable and being responsible are two different concepts. They clearly must be applied and valued differently.

The management must be held accountable for the system that it creates and the system’s results. The staff and tutors are responsible for contributing their part to help the system deliver its best possible outcomes, without the need of bending the rules, the numbers or their personality.

« Each organization has two choices in dealing with the futile process of appraisal; Choice one is to appease everyone by continuing the practice, promoting the illusion that appraisal works, pretending not to notice the harmful side-effects and the unproductive time it takes to be done.
Choice two is to begin an organization-wide initiative of education in which you help people to understand why appraisal fails and then, together, work on strategies to replace appraisal, looking for genuinely new, innovative ways to actually deliver on the high hopes that were praised in appraisal (Coens and Jenkins, 2000). »

Have a great weekend and enjoy your time to the fullest… it’s never too late!