Here is an outstanding infographic on how we have it all backwards with performance reviews and how the current shift towards online collaboration is representing an alternative to the carrot-and-stick approach. It’s the end of the world as we know it.
Online collaboration is impregnating our world of work with new dynamics. What we will be experiencing in the workplace is a conflict between authority (i.e.: how our workplace is designed since the Industrial Revolution) and influence (how collaboration really works – despite the omnipresent paradigm of command-and-control).
Have a look at the lower part of the infographic. Social goals, feedback and recognition are the fuel of online collaboration and they are having a retro-active effect in the off-line / analog world. Thanks to the possibilities we are experiencing in the digital world we are now more open for using feedback, goals and recognition more often in the offline world. That is: more often than the mandatory ‘objectives-and-opinions-falling-out-of-the-sky‘ ritual every six months (aka: ‘performance review’ – a rose by any other name would definitely smell better).
We all know how performance reviews are soooooooo counterproductive, and we all know how much better we would be off without them. The digital economy has given us the alternative of collaboration (be it online or offline), and a new balance between control and co-creation is the next logical step – it’s called social validation, embedded into a social architecture.
But then again, we should never underestimate the gravitational power of culture and habits. Last week someone compared it to the enormous amount of energy it takes to propel the Space Shuttle out of the gravitational power of the earth. This goes to show that we may all be aware of the need for balancing control and co-creation, but getting there will require a lot of energy.