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Powerful Team Development Programme in Africa

The Achievement Management System (AMS)


  1. A regrettable downside of ‘Performance Management’ is that it becomes an end in itself. It is given a daunting status and people learn to fear it - especially when it is confusingly linked to rewards.
  1. When this happens both managers and their direct reports soon find ways to avoid and/or undermine it. Few see it as fair or objective. It is derided rather than taken seriously.
  1. Of course, performance at work is extremely important. Yet better performance outcomes would be achieved if managers focused more on the problem rather than the person.
  1. We need to concentrate on joint problem solving above all else. Our main aim should be to have fewer problems today than yesterday, and fewer tomorrow than today.
  1. By focusing on the problem, the manager is improving communication, ensuring participation, providing recognition and finding opportunities for delegation. The 4 main pillars of motivation.
  1. The 'System' itself is straightforward. It provides, even imposes [via the consultant], the space to ensure that regular meetings formally discuss problems and find solutions.
  1. These meetings are given as tight a focus as possible. They are directed towards the aspects of the job that capture what needs to be done in order to achieve the desired business outcomes.
  1. Agreed objectives (‘desired outcomes’) are identified with the appropriate standards needed to underpin them. Such standards provide an indication as to where problem/s might exist.
  1. The standards trigger a discussion during which the manager and direct report decide on the nature and extent of the problem, and the wisest action for its likely resolution.
  1. The measure is always on the relative seriousness of the problem itself. It very rarely reflects directly upon the job incumbent and the quality of his/her work.
  1. Individual performance can only ever be an issue when it is apparent that the person in question is unable and/or unwilling to resolve the problem.
  1. This would be despite having had every opportunity to do so, and despite having been given the advice, support, resources and counselling required to do so.
  1. But what matters is that there is a facilitated discussion on the most sustaining factor in their relationship... namely the resolving of problems in the best interest of the business.
  1. The ensuing discussion becomes a problem-solving exercise to improve performance, by agreeing on new actions to be taken, or old actions to be better executed.
  1. Two generic objectives on personal development & bottom-up feedback are included to address training and relationship issues respectively and specifically.
  1. The consultant ensures that: the objectives and standards are well written; the meetings are held & recorded; the focus is on the problem and that the relationship is healthy and positive.

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