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John Courtney

John runs Demand Generation at PerformYard. He loves process and [adj] [verb] [modifier].

Email: jcourtney@performyard.com

Author's Posts

The 45 Second Performance Review

by John Courtney on October 16, 2017

Ben, the CEO of PerformYard, completes a Deloitte-style performance review for one of his direct reports. 

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Deloitte's Radically Simple Review

by John Courtney on October 13, 2017

Deloitte, an organization with over 263,000 employees, has one of the simplest performance review forms I’ve ever seen.

It is just four questions -

  1. Given what I know of this person’s performance, and if it were my money, I would award this person the highest possible compensation increase and bonus. [1-5]
  2. Given what I know of this person’s performance, I would always want him or her on my team. [1-5]
  3. This person is at risk for low performance. [Yes or No]
  4. This person is ready for promotion today. [Yes or No]

Despite it’s simplicity there is tremendous sophistication built into these questions.

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How To: Create a Radically Simple Review Form

by John Courtney on October 13, 2017

After writing about Deloitte’s radically simple reviews, the number one response we received was “my company does X, so these questions won't work for us.”

It is a great point, Deloitte’s four questions aren’t designed to be universal, they’re designed for one particular professional services firm with 263,000 employees. Just based on the odds I’m willing to bet that is not what your organization is like.

That said, at PerformYard we think the approach Deloitte took is universal. That is why we are following up our last post with this how-to guide.

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R is for Relevant

by John Courtney on September 6, 2017

Remember Algebra homework? Or maybe your kid’s algebra homework?

When I think back to those days, there is one exasperated question that always comes to mind…

“But when am I ever going to use this stuff again?”

If you think for a moment about how you would answer that question from your teenage self or teenage child, you might just already understand the importance of the next component of SMART goals.

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A is for Achievable

by John Courtney on August 7, 2017

In this series we explore the science behind the 5 elements of a SMART Goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Constrained). This week's article is about the “A.”

Oh “Achievable.” How did you get such a prominent position in the most well known framework for creating effective goals?

George Doran’s original SMART had “Assignable” as the A... but he did use “Realistic” for the R. Today the most common SMART acronym uses “Achievable.” But still, whether it is “Realistic” or “Achievable” how is this one of the 5 most important characteristics of an effective goal?

Can you imagine the conversation a rocket scientist who recently read Doran might have had with President Kennedy in the Fall of 1962?

Rocket Scientist: Mr. President I don’t feel like putting a man on the moon in this decade is realistic. What about a more achievable goal like sending a little robot up there?

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Are Your Goals Too Measurable?

by John Courtney on June 9, 2017

In this series we explore the science behind the 5 elements of a SMART Goal (Specific, Measurable, Agreed On, Realistic, and Time Constrained). This week's article is about the “M.”

SMART goals are most commonly associated with the iconic management consultant Peter Drucker. He articulated the ideas behind SMART in his 1954 book The Practice of Management. Drucker believed an organization should start by setting objectives and then working backwards to determine the work needed to to achieve them. The S-M-A-R-T acronym however did not appear until a 1981 article entitled There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management's goals and objectives.

The ideas behind SMART are timeless, however if you simplify complex ideas into simple acronyms a lot is lost. That is why we think it is time to go back to the source, and explore exactly what makes SMART goals smart.

This week we look at the M, which stands for Measurable.

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