Kirkus Reviews QR Code


3 Principles for Predictable Performance Improvement

by Wally Hauck

Pub Date: Dec. 21st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0982959107
Publisher: CreateSpace

Certified speaking professional and leadership consultant Hauck presents a guide for managers wishing to improve employee performance.

In this engaging, accessible book, Hauck challenges the standard paradigm of employee evaluation by performance review by suggesting the system in which the employee works, rather than the employee, must change. Many organizations currently employ management tools developed during the Industrial Revolution rather than shifting to an approach congruous with the modern workplace. An example of this is the strategy employed at ill-fated Enron, which the author pegs as “performance appraisal on steroids.” At Enron, employees were ranked as either an “A” (superior status with perks, and entitled to do as they pleased), “B” (encouraged and rewarded, but at a much lower level than their “A” coworkers) or “C” (dismissed from the company). Hauck says this system undermined trust while allowing “heroes and heroines to run things the way they wanted—thereby creating competition, back-biting and hoarding of information”; not exactly a recipe for success. Instead of building up superstars, Hauck suggests organizations would be better served by a staff of engaged and committed employees that, as a unit, can achieve effective, cohesive performance. The book’s three main leadership tenets are as follows: manage the context, environment or system within which employees operate; employ a model that evaluates the effectiveness of the system; and manage and enhance trust of employees within the given system. Building on the philosophy of NFL coach Bill Walsh, Hauck clearly states and develops his thesis of addressing and fixing the systemic root of organizational dysfunction. Real-life examples span the gamut from the upper echelons of corporate America (as in the case of Enron) to a simple systems fix (use of an egg timer) that helped the author’s daughter catch her school bus on time.

A holistic, well-organized and groundbreaking guide for managers in the information age.