Everybody wants to know how they’re doing. When you’re sat in front of the telly and you hear a heavy sigh from your partner and you turn to them and say “What’s up?” and they say “Nothing. I’m fine.” you’re really asking how you’re doing.
We want to know how we’re doing at work too. Given that we spend more time at work than we do with our partners its arguably just as important to us. And because every single ounce of success in our businesses is down to people, we really ought to pay a huge amount of attention to how they’re doing. Trouble is, as with pretty much everything we’ve created for the working world, figuring out how we’re doing has become an unnecessarily appalling, Byzantine, viper’s nest of bureaucracy, time-draining, soul-sucking, teeth-gnashing, hair-tearing, frustration and apathy.
Just as all the guff from a thousand management books can be distilled down into a simple twenty five words, so figuring out how we’re doing could be made so much simpler. If your manager lives by those twenty five words, the following will be perfectly workable.
So here’s my suggestion.
First, tear up all your previous reviews and start from scratch.
Take this straightforward four quadrant grid.
In each of the four quadrants you list four items.
Your manager signs off on a list of 16 items.
You get down to making it happen.
It needn’t be any more complicated than that. Only if you’re grooming the female interns, sexually harrassing that guy from Accounts or mis-stating company profits by £250M should there be any need for anything more complex. And if you’re doing these things and you’re not being spoken to, you don’t need advice from me. You need a lawyer.
This would make a great app.