The 8 Performance Myths Holding Organisations Back from Optimal Performance

Performance management is a hot topic; it has been for some time. Managers universally want to know what can be done to escalate company performance. What are the secrets, shortcuts, and strategies? Where do I begin? Employers and their managers all want answers to these and other performance questions. They want to know what can be done to optimize performance, gain a competitive or adaptive advantage, and build capacity. Further, they want to know how to responsively deal with the fickle and ever-changing demands and heightened standards of the end-user: the customer. Being agile, maneuverable, and flexible are success factors for the modern high performing company. Where to begin?

There are eight long-standing roadblocks to agility. Each obstacle is based on management myths rooted in Frederick Taylor’s scientific management philosophy.

What’s commonly referred to as Taylorism, began over 100 years ago on the factory assembly lines of several businesses, including the Ford Motor Company. Taylor’s philosophy was very successful at yielding high profit margins. But work itself has radically transformed from the factory assembly lines of the early 20th century to the knowledge work of the 21st century. Notwithstanding this transformation in the world of work, the thinking and practice of scientific management is still ubiquitous today. Taylorism continues to guide and inform our performance management practices.

What's more, the philosophy of scientific management is deeply embedded in the psyche of management. It’s been the driving force for performance practices that are outdated. My claim that management thinking is passé, is tempting to dismiss. The mind-boggling transformation from the birth of the industry suggests performance management practices have advanced too. Even though the work people do is unrecognizable from the factory of the early 20th century, thinking about managing people’s performance hasn’t moved at anywhere near the same pace. Management as a profession is ultra-conservative.

Here are the eight management myths I cover in my new book - Performance Management for Agile Organizations: Overthrowing the ei... (Palgrave Macmillan).

  1. Job specification improves performance
  2. Quality systems and processes guarantee good outcomes
  3. The job description helps the employee understand their organisational role
  4. A business is best organised around functions
  5. A satisfied employee is a productive employee
  6. A loyal employee is an asset to the business
  7. A technically superior workforce is a pathway to a high performing business
  8. Employees can’t be trusted with sensitive information

If you are curious and wish to find out more about these management myths and what can be done to promote agile performance, join me for a free webinar on The 8 Performance Myths Holding Organisations Back from Optimal Per...(Friday, July 22, 2016 at 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM AEST).

Register here.

You can pre-order a copy of Tim's latest release:  Performance Management for Agile Organizations: Overthrowing the ei... (Palgrave Macmillan).

Dr Tim Baker is a thought leader in organisational change and leadership development, bestselling author, and international consultant. Having consulted across 21 industries in 11 countries over 18 years, Tim has discovered what makes people tick. To find out more, go to WINNERS-at-WORK Pty Ltd.

You can book Tim Baker for you next conference at

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