Is all this tension around performance necessary?

Have you ever wondered why “they” think you need to be under pressure, either against a stretch goal or in competition with colleagues? Who are “they”?

Is it not possible to do better without pressure and tension in large organizations?  

Here is one admittedly simplistic perspective on pressure and tension in any organization.

Individuals with any level of accountability are to some degree afraid that they will not be favorably judged at the end of a period or a deadline, for not delivering against targets and goals, set by fiat or negotiation. Agreed?

There is much talk about how data, knowledge and insight and advanced decision systems will be showing workers and managers how to win, meet targets or come up with a superior return over others.

Yet, do these questions prevail?

  • Do they know how your performance quota was arrived at?
  • Do they know with certainty why you are ranked 37 and not 33?
  • Do they tell you how you could be ranked 29 instead?
  • Why are they hesitant to voluntarily reallocate/share excess resources?
  • Why would they postpone and opportunity to the next quarter?
  • How do they balance revenues today with profits tomorrow?
  • Are they allowed to change their minds?
  • Can they safely decide on an alternate path?

For outstanding results:

Any combination of your answers to these questions is powerful enough to converge performance toward run-of-the-mill outcomes, regardless of the effort that goes into creating an excellent strategy, great goal sharing and teamwork

Could the linch-pin of outstanding performance in large organizations be a system that facilitates transparent and “fair” calibration of resources and expectations, across peers, and spares people from the grinding pressure and non-constructive tension. It is possible and within reach.  

Is that a wish you would entertain for 2015? Ask us about it!