Daniel Pink TED Talk: The Puzzle of Innovation

On TED: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html

An amazing talk by Daniel Pink that goes for the very heart and soul of FairSetup: that money is a foundation, not the driver.  This is one of the most important things about what we are doing at FairSetup – our approach is not actually about money.  It is about perception of fair – about removing that question from people’s minds so that hey can concentrate on what is important to them: mastery, autonomy, and purpose.

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FairSetup Helps Grow Companies

Scenario: a consulting shop with 30 people.  The consulting shop charges by the hour.  Everyone is paid hourly or in salary.  Management wants to grow the company.  Employees like what they do and, at the end of the day, growth won’t benefit them because the company charges the same amount per hour per person irrespective of whether it is a 30 person company or a 300 person company.  How can you get the company to grow?

What we’ve recently realized with one of our clients is that FairSetup creates an opportunity for a team to participate in growth of the business.  For example,

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HR Magazine: Is it time to give up on performance appraisals?

Our summary: Annual performance reviews have a reputation of being ‘useless’ and ‘unnecessary’ – but almost all companies still use them. This is because when done right, performance management increases employee engagement, lowers retention costs and encourages successful staff development. It also pushes managers to be better at their jobs. The article also notes the growing relevance of new technology in HR management, particularly web-based systems, while emphasizing the importance of bespoke appraisal methods.

FairSetup thoughts: By encouraging more regular performance evaluations, FairSetup helps companies improve their culture while promoting fruitful communication between employees and managers. This is an alternative approach to traditional performance management, as it sets up regular feedback loops and collects data over time, ensuring that no employee contribution is lost. This makes the retention process more cost-effective, and increases employee satisfaction.

Published: October 22, 2012

A recent US poll of 2,677 people (1,800 employees, 645 HR managers, and 232 CEOs) by San Francisco-based rewards-and-recognition consulting firm Achievers revealed 98% of staff find annual performance reviews unnecessary. Remember – among the 2,677 respondents, a quarter were HR professionals.

Edward Lawler, professor of business at University of Southern California, reacted by declaring: “Performance appraisals are dead.” But he also unveiled research showing 93% of companies use annual appraisals, and only 6% have considered dropping them.

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NYT: They Work Long Hours, but What About Results?

Our summary: generally spending time is mistaken for efficiency.  Cut down on meetings, focus on metrics, expectations, and outcomes.  You shouldn’t need to stay late or work on weekends to be efficient.  The last part of the article has a significant overlap with setting up expectations on when using the FairSetup model.


They Work Long Hours, but What About Results?
Published: October 6, 2012

IT’S 5 p.m. at the office. Working fast, you’ve finished your tasks for the day and want to go home. But none of your colleagues have left yet, so you stay another hour or two, surfing the Web and reading your e-mails again, so you don’t come off as a slacker.

It’s an unfortunate reality that efficiency often goes unrewarded in the workplace. I had that feeling a lot when I was a partner in a Washington law firm. Because of my expertise, I could often answer a client’s questions quickly, saving both of us time. But because my firm billed by the hour, as most law firms do, my efficiency worked against me. Continue reading

TLNT: Being The Boss: Why is Becoming a Manager So Difficult?

Our Summary: most managers remain mediocre, because they fail to recognize the difference between managing others and managing themselves.  Such managers slip into comfortable coasting after making the initial transition into a management role and fail to grow into good managers.

FairSetup thoughts: we’ve noticed that FairSetup creates a very significant pressure on managers to evolve as they themselves become part of the evaluation cycle and are receive constant feedback from their reports.  The pressure from one’s boss can be mitigated with careful political maneuvering, but one’s reports generally have a much deeper understanding of whether the business unit is moving in the right direction and whether the manager is doing his or her part in the system. Continue reading

Bloomberg: IPO-Bound Workday Said To Win Contract For Google’s HR Systems

Our Summary: Following up on our last post, Workday reportedly plans a huge deal with Google.

IPO-Bound Workday Said To Win Contract For Google’s HR Systems

By Aaron Ricadela and Brian Womack – Aug 31, 2012 12:01 AM ET

Workday Inc., the business-software maker planning an initial public offering, has signed up a big customer in Google Inc. (GOOG) for its online tools to manage employee operations, two people familiar with the deal said. Continue reading

WSJ: Workday, HR software maker, files for IPO

Our Summary:  Workday, founded in 2005 by Duffield and Bhusri, declared its intention to raise up to $400MM in an IPO (tentative price).  Founders intend to retain dominant control.  Workday had $120MM in revenues in first half 2012 doubling the revenue with losses growth of ~30% from a year ago.  No date set on when Workday will start trading.  Last fall company raised $85MM on $2B valuation.

Our comment: a little context according to InformationWeek:

Just this week, IBM acquired HCM vendor Kenexa for $1.3 billion. That deal comes in the wake of SAP’s $3.4 billion acquisition of SuccessFactors, Oracle’s $1.9 billion buy of Taleo, and Salesforce.com’s purchase of privately held Ryyple.

Workday Discloses Finances, Plans for Founders’ Control

by Ben Werthen
Originally published Aug 30, 2012

Workday, one of the most closely watched among a new crop of enteprise-technology start-ups, on Thursday opened the kimono on its inner workings on the way to an IPO and also disclosed that its founders are determined to keep control of the venture as a public company.

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OpenSource: The end of performance management (as we know it)

Our Summary:  Performance doesn’t always require management.  Traditional management provides control, but what modern businesses need is to promote the mindset that creates the conditions needed for great performance to take place.  By fostering such a mindset, people can then self-regulate and make decisions most suited for the given time, which then yields best performance.

The end of performance management (as we know it)

by Bjarte Bogsnes
Originally Published on 30 Aug, 2012

“Self-regulation” has become an increasingly important word for us on this journey, not as a goal in itself, but as a great way of achieving great performance. We found inspiration in something which one initially might think of as very different from organizations and business, but where we all also want the best possible performance.

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FairSetup, an Alternative to Stacked Ranking – Forbes, TechCrunch, Vanity Fair on Downfall of Microsoft

Pardon my language, but forced ranking sucks.  It’s a terrible terrible idea and whoever came up with it, unless this was a lesser evil, should have a red cone of shame deposited on his or her head.  In a recent story on TechCrunch “Stacked Ranking“, Steve Gillmor stated:

Stack ranking, it turns out, is a cancer eating away at Microsoft’s ability to save itself.

And that article, along with a Forbes article The Terrible Management Technique that Cost Microsoft Its Creativity, was responding to a piece in Vanity Fair called Microsoft’s Lost Decade.  Here is a chilling quote from the article:

Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees. The system—also referred to as “the performance model,” “the bell curve,” or just “the employee review”—has, with certain variations over the years, worked like this: every unit was forced to declare a certain percentage of employees as top performers, then good performers, then average, then below average, then poor.

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