The Choice is Your’s – MBOs or Innovation in Performance Management?

You’re putting together a performance management system. In doing that, your company wants people that do more than make the trains run on time.  You want ideas. You want stuff that you didn’t expect.  With that in mind, which of the following would you rather have as a means to force the highest % of your employees to think about ways they can innovate within the scope of their job?

MBOs that you’ve agreed with them on and probably helped them brainstorm related to what to do and how to deliver it. They’ll knock out the project. You get the widget. Then it’s done. Everyone agrees completion of the task is good. (Example for HR Managers: You recruit, so we decide together that you’re going to get us started on social recruiting. We agree on a MBO on what needs to happen by when, with enough specifics for you to know what to do…)

A performance management system that outlines the big blocks of each job, outlines what they’re generally responsible for, and then tells them that in order to exceed that area of your goals/objectives, they’re responsible for thinking differently and innovating within each area to exceed the company’s expectations. The manager is there to help them stay on track with what that might mean, but they’re responsible for coming up with ideas, chasing projects and proving that innovation that helps the business has actually happened.

Which one do you choose?  Think carefully – the goal is to force the highest % of your employees to think about ways they can innovate within the scope of their job.

It’s a part of the upside, value-added part of the performance process. That’s where it gets fun.


Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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