THE PERFORMANCE-MANAGEMENT CONUNDRUM
All organizations have problems, and all forward-looking organizations seek to eliminate problems and improve performance. In the realm of education, we use such tools as teacher training, teacher development, classroom observation and formal performance management and appraisal systems for these purposes. Very often if an institution is applying for formal accreditation by external bodies, it is indeed an absolute necessity that such systems are in place. The assumption therefore would seem to be that such systems are vital to our organizational health, our ability to solve problems, and thereby achieve success.
In this presentation however, it will be suggested that although we have become very alert to the cost of problems, we are much less sensitized to the cost of solutions. Performance Management systems are an outstanding example of this. Painful, time-consuming and expensive to implement, they have the potential to be as destructive as they are constructive, to have wide-ranging impact or no impact at all. A prime question that arises for managers of these and other systems is thus: how do we prevent the cost of the solution becoming higher than the cost of the ‘problem’? This is the performance management conundrum that will be addressed.