Thought for the month - June 2012

Eyes and ears

Some business leaders think you can do everything in business with the right software; yet others think you can't do anything worthwhile with any sort of technology.

I watched the MD of a plc tapping away on his computer whilst we were waiting for a meeting to start. "What do you think of this?" he called. I walked round the desk to see him trying to complete a questionnaire about his fellow directors.

There were ten questions on eight different management competences and he had eight directors. That's 640 clicks. He was being asked to score these people on a scale of 4 for excellent down to 0 for abysmal.

His mind was wandering; he hardly knew Joe Hayes, a recent addition to the Board, so he went down the middle with a succession of two's punctuated with the occasional one and three "just to balance it up."

"So what do you think?" he asked.

I advised that he had never wasted his time more completely. Further, if he is looking for genuine performance improvement from self and colleagues then the only way to appraise anyone is face to face, eyeball to eyeball.

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