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Kris, I don't think it's just us. There are more and more people trying different things everyday. They have good ideas. I know, we talk to them. The people who are frustrated, but don't have good ideas are asking you for them. So, you should point them to the good ones, not suggest there are none. They are not being trendy. They are fed up - and more importantly, managers and employees are frustrated. I know you're a fan, and I very much appreciate it. I'm not sure what you think we do though - it's certainly not thought leadership in a bubble! We design and deploy software *in the field* every day. We work with real CEOs, real managers, and real employees in the world at large. You are totally correct - Loops is a bridge to the future. It allows companies to maintain a perf cycle, but puts far more emphasis on coaching and real-time feedback. Vendors and HR can talk about coaching all they want, but if the main focus of the products they introduce is writing reviews and not real-time coaching, etc. managers will not change their perspective. If all you have is a nail... that kinda thing. In truth, we have no interest in "making HR types look progressive". Our main customer is managers and employees. We want to help these people actually deliver results. If, as a side benefit this makes HR look like heros because they finally introduced something that people like to use, then awesome. If I've totally missed you point, and what you're really annoyed with is bloggers who whine, then my apologies. But if you're suggesting that managers and hr leaders who want to move forward are just ranting, trying to be trendy, and are not willing to change, I disagree. D ps: And, i know you are (sort of) kidding... but you'll notice that i *didn't* send you to links to product reviews. I sent you stories of good ideas of real companies implementing "in the field" the ideas you describe. Yes, Rypple is mentioned (sometimes), but that's not the point. As I said... we're not magic. What's magical is that people are actually doing stuff, in real life, not in some thought leadership bubble.
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Hey Kris - great post. I couldn't agree more - coaching people is the key to improving business results (e.g performance). And helping managers to become better coaches is a super high ROI activity. But I just don't agree that everyone who suggests we should re-think a painful 50 year old process doesn't "have any good ideas on how to make the feedback loop better." That's just incorrect. For example, we've spent years, millions of dollars, and worked with thousands of managers to build Rypple, and our Loops service. It's exactly what you describe, I think: a coaching centered platform that increases feedback loops in companies. We call it social performance management. Our customers call it a good idea to move beyond the traditional review. If desired, Rypple Loops can provide everything required for a traditional annual performance summary - but also does much more. I'd be happy to set up a time to take you through what we do in detail. There are plenty of "good ideas" out there: 1. Here's a story in HR Executive about our customer Merrimack Pharmaceuticals got rid of reviews and replaced them with monthly coaching sessions. HRE editors voted it one of the Best HR Ideas of 2010. 2. Here's a story in the Management Innovation Exchange about how our customers, John Quinn, the VP Eng at Gilt Group re-invented reviews for the entire company - with a focus on coaching. 3. Here's another MIX article about how Joris Lutke at Atlassian (NOT our customer) did the same thing - a focus on coaching: 4. Or, check out this video of real managers and users at Facebook (our customer) talking about their experience with Loops: I want to re-iterate that your point about coaching is spot on. Rypple is not magic... nor is any other software. A belief in the results of regular, frequent 1:1 coaching is required to move beyond the batch mindset of traditional performance reviews. But saying that no one has any other ideas is defeatist and is also not correct. There are lots of good ideas. What's required is, yes, an increased emphasis on coaching...AND, a more open mind towards experimenting with new approaches - and learning from others who are actually innovating - both vendors and managers. BTW - We just hosted a great seminar with one of the best writers on "Managing Humans" - and a huge proponent of the focused, valuable 1:1 - Michael Lopp. Check it out, I think you'll dig it:
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Bob - sounds like a great project. A few thoughts: 1. The Hot/Cold emotion sounds similar to the Elephant/Rider metaphor that the Heath's wrote about in Switch. Great book. 2. If you have not already (you probably have), the one book I'd suggest checking out is "Diffusion of Innovations" by Everett Rogers. Thinking about "good behavior" as an innovation - a meme that has to spread - and seeing if there are parallels to the work Roger's did. 3. I love the point about "ergonomics of scaling". I know software can't change everything, but in this area, well designed software can change cultures. i wrote a bit about this here... hope it helps. Let us know if we can help with some case studies... I have a few ideas.
My mom is gonna be so happy that you think we're the Golden Child! :) Thanks for the props. We're trying hard to both innovate on a hard problem and market differently / well. And - we're proud to be in such great company. All firms with great people & products.
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Oct 4, 2010