About a month ago, I was given a challenge to develop a system that could ‘manage’ performance in a company with start-up spirit.
The challenger explained to me how the commonly practiced Performance Management System (PMS) couldn’t be implemented. She firstly described the project-based team arrangements that caused someone to have a minimum of two bosses at the same time. She then continued by explaining how everyone’s targets can be significantly changed within a month. To add to these, she described the maturity level of the leaders who are relatively young and mostly millennials.
Yes…she got me thinking!
I am quite familiar with the terms Key Performance Indicators, Balanced Score Card, calibration, normalization, formal ranking and the like. But when I got the grip of how things are run in this organisation, I knew instantly that most of my past experience needs a lot of adjustment if it were to be rolled out here.
To help you picture how the business is run in this organisation, I will tell you a bit about the culture:
- Don’t like bureaucracy (hate forms and long meetings)
- Do things fast (a decision can be made through WhatsApp)
- Consistently have to do things differently (due to the fact that challenges we face haven’t been faced by many outside the company)
- Trust others a lot (independence and flexibility are core in leading a bunch of smart youngsters)
- Data driven (all we said must be based on data and strong analytics)
Having all these information, I started my research on how most ‘up-to-date’ organisation are doing their performance management. So I studied Google, Facebook, GE, Deloitte, Accenture, and some other companies who are well known for their innovation. I tried to check other start-ups as well, but not much literature are available. Maybe they are still trying to figure out how to best do this like we are.
I will tell you what I found out on the 2nd part. But to give you a hint, they are still doing Performance Management…just in a different form.