Getting Performance Without Performance Management

anders-olesen's picture

Performance Enabling

By Anders Olesen on October 6, 2012

The label: I very much agree that the current label “Performance Management” includes or implies a wrong message. What we want to have is the optimal mix (or suite) of tools/elements/systems/processes/practices etc. that in combination provide the optimal circumstances for all employees to perform to their maximum all the time. So in my mind it is about “Performance Enabling”.

First Steps (extra credit) 

The traditional elements of Performance Management (strategy, target setting, monitoring of performance etc.) will probably persist in most organizations. However, to achieve – and sustain - great performance these must be supplemented with modern management tools that address motivation. Elements such as empowerment, adaptability, transparency, trust, etc. must play a great part in “Performance Enabling”. Critical questions must be asked: to what extent do traditional elements such as targets and bonuses actually drive positive performance? For help and inspiration, visit

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bjarte-bogsnes's picture


"Enabling" is such a strong and more relevant word than "management". It is all about creating conditions for great performance to take place. We will probably never get away from some kind of processes and systems to make this happen. The clue is, as you say, to design these in a coherent and consistent way, so they support instead of block. As already stated by others in this Hackathon, we have to work on the whole system and not just the parts.

You refer to the Beyond Budgeting principles and the BB Roundtable. These 12 principles definitely provide a holistic and coherent way out of the misery.


chris-grams's picture

I agree with Bjarte-- the idea of enablement is so much stronger than management.