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When a flower doesn't bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower

"When a flower doesn't bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower." Alexander den Heijer


The debate about about performance management systems continues to rage with some companies abandoning them altogether, others sticking to their traditional approach, & the remainder sitting somewhere between the two.


For mine the problem is less about the process and more about how we define performance. Alexander's quote above reveals the stupidity of defining performance as the sole responsibility of the performer, or flower in his example.


Performance is highly contextual. We've all seen a super star at one company turn out average in another. Or a LO-PO in one team become a high potential elsewhere. The person is the same but the context has changed and with it their performance. So if context is so critical to performance what does the research tell us the biggest influence on it is?


Kouzes & Posner's landmark research revealed the no. 1 influence on a person's context is their leader. On this basis performance management, whatever its form, should solidly focus on the leader's impact as well as the individual's performance. The two are inseparable.

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