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There is no I in individual. No, wait…

There is no I in individual. No, wait…

Writing for the Alban Institute, John Wimberly tackles a couple of vexing issues, including how to evaluate the success of ministries, rather than the individuals active in such ministries:

The problems with performance reviews need to be viewed in a larger context. Our concern should be focused on organizational, not individual, performance. Using traditional performance reviews, we are measuring the performance of individuals when we should be measuring the performance of organizations. With the traditional model, we can end up with a bunch of individual employees who are “performing above expectations” even as the organizations in which they work struggle or fail. Isn’t there a contradiction in such a situation?

For example, in the Washington, D.C., public school system, a large percentage of teachers get well-deserved high ratings on their individual performance. However, overall, the school system is failing at its job of educating children. There is little correlation between how individual teachers are performing and how the larger system is performing. Individual goals are being met, but the organization’s goals are not. In an ideal organization, the success of individual performances would be aligned with and contributing to the success of the organization.

How do we break through our chronic emphasis on individual performance and refocus our attention on system performance? Working in teams is an important strategy to that end. When we work in teams, we have team, not individual, goals.

What kind of experiences have you had with team-oriented evaluations?


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