“…we think over many years it had become more a ritual than moving the company upwards and forwards”.
This is what happens to many ideologies in companies – either they are never believed and quickly dies out, or they are believed to a level where they have no foothold in reality – and, hence, are being maintained far beyond the point where it should have been clear that they do no good.
What is particularly interesting in many company change programs is that the companies often stay in them for decades. What really should have been a transition to another way of working, a development of the company, becomes an eternal hunt for the original ideal – ignoring all of the natural development of the company that happens in between. And therefore Six Sigma or the yearly performance measurement could not survive in GE in the long run.
Often it is said that any kind of improvement program will not work – it will be attempted, then left behind and a new one will be attempted. The main reason for this is that every improvement program should be specific for each company: you cannot copy others’ success, because the preconditions and the situation in general for your company will be different. And, as mentioned above, life goes on during and after the transition, which must be taken into account as well and included in the general management scheme. The transition itself really should go, quickly, from a special change project into becoming standard management practice in the company, which additionally should keep adding, removing and adjusting such practices, as life moved on.
The article below, written by Max Nisen and published on Quartz, is full of interesting thoughts!
Originally posted on Quartz:
The annual performance review has been a ubiquitous and generally loathed fixture of the corporate world for decades. But haters can rejoice: It’s finally starting to topple. The best part? Even the company that popularized the toughest form of formal annual review is moving away from them.
For decades, General Electric practiced (and proselytized) a rigid system, championed by then-CEO Jack Welch, of ranking employees. Formally known as the “vitality curve” but frequently called “rank and yank,” the system hinged on the annual performance review, and boiled the employees’ performance down to a number on which they were judged and ranked against peers. A bottom percentage (10% in GE’s case) of underperformers were then fired.
The company got rid of formal, forced ranking around 10 years ago. But now, GE’s in the middle of a far bigger shift. It’s abandoning formal annual reviews and its legacy performance management system for its 300,000-strong workforce over the next couple of years, instead…
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