An often heard claim, but leaders mean it, managers just mouth it. 

Creating and nurturing a process of performance assessment should be a focal task of a leader, as it puts money in the bank over time. However, it is hard, confronting, and time consuming work, generally without a short term pay-off, and is virtually impossible to measure via the financial reports, still the default measurement for most.

There are a lot of frameworks out there, and lots of consultants ready to take your money to tell you how to do it, but without a determination to ensure future performance by investing in the capabilities of your employees, outsiders cannot really help.

However, two frameworks that may get you thinking.

The first is an essay by Marty Cagan, a successful venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. Venture capitalists invest in ideas and people to deliver future returns, so being successful, Marty probably knows a thing or two about capability assessment.

The second approaches the challenge in a highly prescriptive manner, but curiously, if you look behind the avalanche of words, you see a similar approach to Marty’s, an analysis of the requirements to generate the required outcomes, analysis of the individual, and description of the gap. It is the Integrated Leadership System (ILS) that has evolved to provide a performance and assessment management framework for the Australian federal Public Service.

Between these two, there is enough to get a conversation started about the best way for your organisation to manage its “Greatest Asset” and hopefully lay the foundations for a system that reflects your needs and environment.