The Evolution of Organizational Performance: Part Two


Part Two: The Golden Age of "Management" - The 70's, 80's, and 90's


As we mentioned last week, the performance environment that people experience and work in every day has a profound impact on both personal and team engagement. We started this blog series exploring when and where “command and control” leadership began and the impact that style of leadership has by creating more of a compliant performance environment than committed and engaged.

Just on the heels of command and control leadership came the era in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s of “scientific management” where everything from time, quality, and yes performance, was managed. There were hundreds of books, tools, and theories on how to “manage” your time.  You managed work by creating MBO’s (Management by Objectives), and your personal performance was managed by end of year ratings on a “bell curve” or “forced ranking systems” often referred to by many at G.E. as “rank and yank."

Now don’t get us wrong, measurement is a good thing, but taken too far and not having the right focus tends to create a barrier in today’s complex business climate and becomes a de-motivator, significantly impacting overall employee engagement for the worse. Just ask anyone if they think the performance management process in their organization is effective today at enhancing performance and increasing engagement? I venture a guess of highly unlikely.

According to Reuters, 4 out of 5 U.S. workers are dissatisfied with their job performance reviews and want them to better reflect their work.

With the dynamic and rapid pace of organizational performance today, if you are managing change and not leading it you are behind! If you are a leader still reviewing performance and not enabling and pursuing performance, you are managing not leading. And if you are an individual contributor not proactively leading your own performance discussions and talent development you are left to the mercy of others to review and manage you.

So, we ask once again, are there remnants of the “scientific management” era negatively impacting your organizations performance environment?  If so let us know and we can assist in evolving your personal and organization’s performance environment. Remember, no one wants to be managed and if you don’t believe us, just ask them! 


Next week, Part Three - The 2000's Through Today.


For more information on how to more actively engage in your organization join our DESTINATION: SUCCESS page, or contact us!


Cornerstone Learning is a performance and leadership consulting organization that has worked with clients all over the world. Our focus is working with individuals and organizations to create performance solutions that deliver top-tier results by inspiring, enabling, and developing employee-led, leader supported, and organization enabled performance. We are able to successfully deliver this through multiple products and services such as employee surveysonline training, performance assessments, and performance coaching. The goal at Cornerstone Learning is to assist our clients in enabling success by developing a dynamic and customized pathway to deliver role model organizational and personal performance.