Posts Tagged ‘Managers’

Learning a new web-scripting language at the moment. Unlearning hard-learned lessons and restructuring my neural pathways. It’s painful, frustrating and soul-destroying.

But I’m doing it for myself. For my own business.

Self-employed, I found myself putting the kids to bed and then stepping into my office at home to solving the latest in a stream of code problems.

Couple of hours later, perplexed by programming madness, I hit the hay. Slept on it. Woke up the next morning to the sound of the kids’ laughter and with a fix for the problem emerging from my subconscious.


And I ask myself, how any corporation can hope to compete with self-employment for an employee-value-proposition.

Working where I want, in the way I want, at the time I want – all at the whim of my own choices.

I didn’t have to consult the policy manual.

I didn’t have to clock in.

I didn’t have to confirm objectives and priorities.

I didn’t have to persuade someone else to look past their own insecurity and distrust of my motives and intent.

All those “didn’t have to” things that corporations choose to place every day between people and performance.

I learned more in the past couple of weeks than I did in the course of years in a corporation.

I didn’t have to.

But I did.

Destruction HR… removing those things that people shouldn’t have to…


Somewhere along the march to compliance, someone decided that mandating the specific actions of all managers was the preferred route to protect against a very small proportion who might damage people or performance.

It was never going to work.

And leads to the infantilization of managers, as captured in the common HR resistance to change:

I can’t let managers do that, they don’t know how and will get it wrong

The vast majority of managers are decent human beings who want to see their teams flourish, perform and grow. The vast majority of managers know how to manage better than anyone in HR. The vast majority of managers carry huge organizational tax complying with HR’s impossible premise of mandating the many.

Destruction HR is about demolishing that unnecessary tax burden.


In some companies, HR write scripts for managers to follow in meetings with their people…

No… Really, they do…


Let’s run some numbers:

  • Company size: 10,000
  • # of managers: 1,500
  • Ave. span of control: 8 direct reports
  • Ave. hours per direct report: 3h (for self-assessment, review discussions, final documentation)
  • Total hours spent on performance management cycle = (1,500 x 8 x 3) = 36,000h
  • # hours per year = 2,000h
  • Full-time-equivalents dedicated to Performance Management = 18 FTEs*

Without factoring in lost productivity and/or questionable/negative impact upon engagement

[and resulting death spiral for performance]

by even conservative estimates, this company pays the equivalent of 18 people just to comply with the annual performance management cycle.

Run the numbers for your company. Then, walk into a business leader’s office tomorrow and offer her 18 people for no extra cost, increased engagement and less distraction from meeting customer needs. We think you’ll get backing to demolish the performance management cycle.

And, if not, what a discussion you’ll begin.


* Note: the calculation does not include any HR resource dedicated to performance management, which is as it should be; managers manage and HR gets in the way.

Meeting individuals where individuals are is a good thing. However, aiming for specific numeric targets – x% women and y% people of color – in any working population (e.g. senior leadership) misses the point completely and, for emerging generations, is an insult. The resulting cynicism kills performance.


The people who make change happen – recruiters and developers – are viewed as second class citizens to HR leaders who serve to maintain the status quo.


Managers manage every day – what proportion of HR professionals have ever managed a team?