Setting Aligned Goals

We’ve talked a lot about the value of goals, both in terms of setting them and then putting in place practical strategies for measuring progress.  But what happens when you’re not sure what goal you should be working towards?  It would certainly be a waste of time and effort to set a goal and push to achieve it if it’s not in some way relevant to your success.  And in terms of workplace goals, that usually means the goal also needs to be aligned with the success of the organization.

In an earlier article we talked about the idea of […]

5 Ways to Improve Performance Reviews

While performance reviews should be a productive time to review the past and prepare for the future, for many employees and supervisors it’s just the opposite.  Performance management in many organizations follows a well-worn track, and it’s no secret that managers and their team members alike dread the process.

4 out of 5 US employees are unhappy with their reviews
Only 30% have a sense of trust in the performance management system
One third of performance assessments actually demotivate the employee

This is bad news for organizations and managers who believe that the goal of the performance management process is to produce engaged, […]

Performance Management – A Glossary of Terms

Sometimes it seems like there’s a new word for management every week.  But are there real, meaningful differences in these language changes, or is it all just cosmetic? What’s the difference between talent management and performance management?  Is all feedback considered coaching?  What’s the difference between mentoring and coaching? If you’re new to management or HR, it can be confusing when different terms get thrown around.  

While some of them are obvious and some are a bit more obscure, the terms we use to describe the performance management process fit together to define the process as a whole, each […]

AMA Playbook – Correcting is Out

George Carlin used to do a bit about the differences between football and baseball, making the case that football was the more serious game. Football is played on a precisely marked field which is always the same size. Every baseball park is different. Football is rigidly timed. Baseball can go on forever. In football when you make a mistake you get a penalty. In baseball it’s just an error, whoops!

Every manager wants to create an environment where people feel engaged and focused, but whether or not you are successful depends on how you approach the process. Some managers […]

Performance Management Using the Deming Cycle

Developed in the 1950s, Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s process cycle is not a new idea. But ideas don’t have to be new to work. Dr. Deming pioneered a set of steps for process improvement that revolutionized manufacturing, ultimately leading to what we know today as the Lean Process or Lean Manufacturing. The Deming cycle consists of four steps:


In the planning stage, individuals and teams work together to create a system or a process that achieves a specific goal. Moving on to the next stage, “Do”, the team implements that plan and measures the results. Next in the “Check” stage, […]