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If you’ve read anything about feedback recently you are probably confused.  There is lots of conflicting information and disagreement on, among other things, whether feedback is helpful, what kind of feedback is best (negative or positive), what the object of feedback...

The world is changing because of COVID-19.  I’m not just talking about for those who contracted the virus and their friends and families.  As many of us are now experiencing, the steps taken to deal with the virus (stay-at-home orders, social distancing, travel restric...

February 17, 2020

Calibration meetings are increasingly part of performance management (PM) and reward processes in many organizations.  In these meetings (usually at the end of the year), managers discuss their employees’ accomplishments with the purpose of agreeing on final performanc...

February 25, 2019

The Guardian article by Sarah Anderson and Sam Pizzigati about runaway CEO pay is jarring.  

“The CEO of Marathon Petroleum, Gary Heminger, took home an astonishing 935 times more pay than his typical employee in 2017.  In other words, one of Marathon’s gas station...

January 21, 2019

I wrote this article about a year ago and thought it worth re-posting (updated a bit and modestly edited).  Not much has changed in the past year, in fact, many companies have doubled down on differentiation as cost pressures intensify and compensation budgets tighten....

November 20, 2018

It’s that time of year again, time for the most important part of performance management.  It’s rating season.  The time for playing nice is over—for optimistic plans, feedback, coaching, and development.  It’s time for cold, hard, reptilian evaluation.  Ratings a...


Over the past couple years I have documented the problems with traditional performance management (PM), which I call “Last Generation Performance Management,” or PM 1.0 for short.  I have been critical of its broad, diffused purpose, the lack of research su...

“Money, it's a crime.  Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie.”


I was quite surprised to hear the story about United Airline’s move to replace their bonus system with a lottery.  Yes, you read that right.  There is plenty to read about this already (see Adam Grant's LinkedIn post)  but this story and other trends in the reward...

February 8, 2018

We live in “instrumental” times.

This is no more apparent than in the title question.  I’m sure the teachers among you are asked this question a lot.  I understand the question; I have asked it myself.  Students don’t want to waste their time on material that isn’t goin...

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