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Get Rid of the Performance Review!: How Companies Can Stop Intimidating, Start Managing--and Focus on What Really Matters (Business Plus) Hardcover
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About the Author
Larry Rout is a staff writer at the Wall Street Journal. It was he who wrote the original explosive article about Culbert's views on performance reviews. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Okay, I exaggerate a bit. The book is full of rational arguments establishing the dysfunctionality of the performance review ("PR""). The tone, however, is wholly unlike that of most such books. Culbert writes with the zeal of a righteous preacher, who knows sin when he sees it and strives to extirpate it root and branch. And he wants the reader to join him. He hammers away (sometimes repetitiously, as in all good sermons) at the evil and promotes a remedy at once more effective and virtuous, what Culbert calls a performance preview ("PP").
Other reviewers outlined Culbert's strictures against the PR, so I will not repeat them at length. My own experience has been that Culbert is spot on. The PR is irremediably one-sided, subjective, boss-serving, dishonest, counter-productive and backward looking. It leaves employees demoralized and concerned more about personal "faults" than business objectives.
The PP, as Culbert describes it, at least has a chance to create true teams, with everyone (including the boss) jointly accountable for achieving team goals that reflect business objectives. To work, the PP requires trust and honesty between and among subordinates and boss. Culbert recognizes that this can be difficult both to establish and to sustain and must be worked at. Without trust and honesty the PP approach will fail.Read more ›
Here's the issue (and a handful of other reviews mention it but they're drowned out by the positive reviews) THE WHOLE BOOK CAN BE CONDENSED INTO TWO CHAPTERS max.
It is not until you get to page 143 that the author starts talking about his alternative to the PR. Seriously, come on.. If we are reading this book, it's because we are looking for an alternative. I don't need 140+ pages for you to bash on the PR - we get it, it doesn't work, got it, let's move on.
So frankly, if you want to read it - just skip the rest and read chapters 7 & 8. The first six are a complete waste of time. You do not get anything out of it other than a rehash of things you know already - PR as they are done today are not very effective.
The book is not all that long considering the line spacing was not single and the font size was larger than I am used to reading in a business book. It has 10 chapters and I would list them here if I thought that would help you understand what the book was about. But I'm not going to list them. The meat of the book is found in Chapter 7 entitled "There has to be a better way. And there is." The 12 gripes the author has with performance reviews are listed there as follows:
1. Performance reviews focus on finding faults and placing blame.
2. Performance reviews focus on deviations from some ideal as weaknesses.
3. Performance reviews are about comparing employees.
4. Performance reviews create a competition between boss and subordinate.
5. Performance reviews are one-side-accountable and boss-dominated monologues.
6. Performance reviews are thunderbolt from on high, with the boss speaking for the company.
7. Performance reviews mean that if the subordinate screws up, then the subordinate suffers.
8. Performance reviews allow the big boss to go on autopilot.
9. The performance review is a scheduled event.
10. Performance reviews give HR people too much power.
11. Performance reviews don't lead to anything of substance.
12.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everything that wrong with how most (no all) PRs are done!Published 3 months ago by Dean C. Hoffman
This was the first book on this topic that I read. Dr. Culbert presents a clear case against the effectiveness of traditional performance reviews. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Horn Player
I have worked in HR and I have been on both sides of the Performance Review Process. This book lays out a clear argument for how this process damages teamwork, employee relations,... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
Lots of information why the traditional annual performance review process is horribly flawed, but not so much practical advice on what to do to replace them OR sell the process to... Read morePublished 12 months ago by robdew
The author clearly hates people working in the HR function and comes across as pompous. I think he could have made his point in a fraction of the pages he took. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Janet G. Mcnichol
This books is insulting. I was actually seeking out an alternative to change something I already thought was bad. Read morePublished 15 months ago by amazon customer
Sam Culbert has written a book that I wish I had written...I have been critical of performance reviews for some 30 years now. Read morePublished on January 26, 2014 by David K. Banner,PhD
It was decent and I would recommend it. But it's a bit hard to get through everything to really get to the point... Read morePublished on April 5, 2013 by Eric Walth