Getting Performance Without Performance Management

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self-directed performance practice

By MIX Administrator on September 22, 2021

Invert the process by having colleagues determine how they would best support organisational goals (preferably after they have been through some process of joint-design of the goals to embed a sense of shared/collaborative commitment). This can be as structured or as loose as culture might dictate. At the structured level I would recommend a balanced scorecard approach to frame operational goals to business performance and learning needs to achieve the performance (ideally first at a team level and then at individual). Each activity could be reviewed by the team/individual and tracked against the 4-box conscious competence model to highlight what level of support and/or development may be required to achieve the agreed outcomes. Similarly with regard to resources they could use a simple framework of what do they need/need to do that they don't currently have/do; what do they need to/do more of; less of; stop having/doing. Finally the plans would be challenged (by the team) for risk and resilience and effective contingency strategies would be developed to protect the performance.
Tracking and review would be self-generated. If structured a Toyota A3 approach is useful to share the achievement through a PDCA cycle and allow review and or coaching to and from the individual/team from the team/manager.
In an unstructured environment best practice modelling could be encouraged for teams and individuals to aspire to be the best they can be.
Additionally in a "goldilocks" fashion either the team/individuals or manager could throw in challenges which expand the collective (sometimes personal) learning, capability and performance. Finally ensure that effective recognition at personal team and business level celebrates the right behaviours, skills and performance and deals effectively with undesirable issues.
So maybe this is a 5-step process of Plan, Prepare, Protect, Perform, Party!
In this way people take ownership of the goals, the solutions and the performance (both collectively and individually) with managers providing the nurturing framework to support the desired outcomes.
Akin to learner-centred teaching aimed at developing self-directed learners this approach moves to worker-centred management (facilitation) to enhance self-directed performance.
In an ideal setting each team's "performance plan" would be presented to an open 360 review to broaden understanding, encourage better and self-facilitated integration as well as help create the sense of holistic culture.

First Steps (extra credit) 

How would you sell this? Well that really depends on where they are now, what their receptivity is to change and how much they want it!
But the USP is you get company-wide outcomes that are directly aligned to corporate goals that are integrated across functions, owned by those delivering them and is largely (if not wholly) self-directed. This means that day to day issues are managed effectively and dynamically, change/stretch is a natural phenomenon and the business has both collective efficiency and in-built agility to respond to both problems and opportunities. Indeed the agility can become a developed practice in itself (as is the norm for sustainable high-growth organisations). No need for HR, no need for huge management structures and what management there is can be focused on enhancing value-added as opposed to atempting to enforce control.

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