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When will they learn? I wrote my book Oops! 13 management practices that waste time and money in 2009 and the one that has caught the most attention is Performance Appraisal. An article by Will Oremus “The Poisonous Employee-Ranking System That Helps Explain Microsoft’s Decline” indicates that there is still much work to be done to change the practices of some of the major players in business. While many organizations are abandoning Stack Ranking (also referred to as Rank and Yank) as a part of the appraisal process, Steven Ballmer is clinging to methods used in the past that have proved to be not only ineffective but also counterproductive (think lawsuits). Even G.E., the most well-known promoter of the practice, abandoned it almost 10 years ago. Critics of Ballmer are saying that he is stuck in the past and this article seems to validate that criticism. To quote Sherman Roberts of the Ivy Consortium, “The best way to run a business is also the best way to treat people.” Stack Ranking is clearly not the best way to treat people. For more on the other Oops! and ways to avoid them, check out these videos and podcasts.
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