Forced Rankings Lead to Unforced Errors

Conversations about forced rankings and the use of the bell curve in performance reviews are bubbling up again. During the last month — in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila — we heard people debating the pros and cons of this approach. Let’s be clear: the only “pro” is that lazy managers can use it to […]

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If Everybody is Special…

If everyone is super, then no one is

…then nobody is. Yes, The Incredibles got it right. A speaker at last week’s Talent Management Asia 2018 conference in Manila raised this point, and it sparked a lot of conversation and note-scribbling across the audience. One of the most important things you do as a leader is provide performance feedback. At the same time, […]

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High Performer vs High Potential

We often hear these two terms used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same thing. The difference is important, because it affects how you develop your employees. High Performer generally refers to someone who is great at the job they have. They are talented in their specialty, they do great work, they put in a lot […]

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Learning From Failure

As I was talking recently with an analyst at one of my clients, he made a very helpful observation about learning: It’s better to learn from failures than from successes. With a success, the chances you can replicate everything that led to that success are small. But with a failure, you can learn how to […]

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Learning Takes More Than Good Intentions

There’s a commonly accepted view in the learning and development community that a good balance of learning opportunities is 70-20-10. That is, 70% of learning comes from on the job experiences, 20% comes from other people (say, through coaching and mentoring), and 10% comes from formal training. The concept has been around for about three […]

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You Cannot Plan Your Entire Career

When I meet new clients or speak at a conference I always make sure to briefly describe my background so people understand my perspective better (and so they know I’ve had a solid mix of education and experience). More than half the time someone mentions that I have had a pretty unusual career. Yes. Yes […]

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“Engagement” Is Not the Same As “Development”

There are a lot of fun things you can do as part of your employee development. There are corporate retreats, escape rooms, Outward Bound and “ropes courses,” scavenger hunts and big flashy company meetings with dancers and singers and maybe a comic or two. But are your people actually learning anything? Too many companies engage […]

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Bad Apples

There’s an old saying that “one bad apple spoils the bunch.” The idea is that if you have one apple rotting, the rot can spread to others. But what happens if the rot doesn’t spread? What happens if the apples just get up and leave? Apples don’t have legs, of course, so it’s hard for […]

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Gen WHY?

Over the last decade there has been plenty written about the challenges of leading Millennials in the workplace. As silly as it might seem to try to put an entire generation into one category, it is worth observing how the working environments are changing in many countries. As is always the case no matter what […]

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Learning Needs a Network

When we design development opportunities for our employees, do we do it in a vacuum, or do we have them collaborate? Because honestly, getting the most from learning and development requires a network. Learning opportunities for your folks are great, and you should provide them – learning should really be part of your fundamental culture […]

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