There’s a global appraisal revolution

Traditional evaluation based appraisals have failed and continue to fail. And it’s not just in education where people are waking up to this.

Just one example. An article Reinventing Performance Management appearing in the April 2015 issue of the Harvard Business Review, tells the story of Deloittes. 

Deloittes represent the direction many large private sector organisations are heading. They were forced to rethink and redesign their appraisal system because it was making little difference yet consumed some two million hours a year. Whilst this might sound absurd, stop for a minute. If we added all the hours schools across the country invested in appraisal throughout a single year it would be significantly more. And what difference does it make? As William Powell & Ochan Kusuma-Powell note in their book Teacher Self-supervision: Why teacher evaluation has failed and what we can do about it, “Ask 1,000 teachers how many of them are becoming more professional, effective or fulfilled through the use of the present system and probably a few will say “yes”. We have a failed system and we need to change it.” Deloittes, like many other successful organisations are doing just this. They’re moving into the future and removing themselves from a failed past.

The greatest current threat to knowledge industries is a global shortage of talent. There’s a difference between a group of potential employees and a group of talented potential employees. There are significantly fewer in the latter category and because everyone is competing for them, you’re not guaranteed to get the talent you want. Developing capability, not evaluating it, has become the 21st century organisational imperative.

Evaluative appraisal systems are a link to a past era. At a time when investing in people and building capacity are increasingly important, maintaining a traditional evaluative appraisal system is increasingly out of step with most organisations’ objectives.

Deloittes is no different from schools in many respects. Like all 21st century knowledge organisations Deloittes required “Something nimbler, real-time, and more individualised—something squarely focused on fueling performance in the future rather than assessing it in the past.”  

Doing what many other private sector organisations are also doing, Deloittes have moved to an approach where organisational goals and objectives do not cascade through to each person’s appraisal and there are no 360-degree feedback tools. “We’ve arrived at a very different and much simpler design for managing people’s performance. Its hallmarks are speed, agility, one-size-fits-one, and constant learning, and it’s underpinned by a new way of collecting reliable performance data. This system will make much more sense for our talent-dependent business”, they say.

This is exactly what InterLEAD Connector™ provides educators.