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Baseball, Steroids, and Performance Management

Baseball, Steroids, and Performance Management

by Frank Roche on December 14, 2007

in Performance

BaseballIn case anyone questions why your performance management process includes an element of how you get your work done, look no farther than the steroid scandal that blew the lid off of professional baseball yesterday.

When any business, whether it’s baseball or B2B, decides that numbers matter more than ethics, then you get what happened in Major League Baseball. It’s the kind of thinking, and shirking of responsibility, that leads to illegal dumping of chemicals, shortcuts, and taking questionable risks in business. We’ve all seen the stories.

I’m not talking about having a “Did you play nice with others?” component to performance management. Sure, that’s important, but I’m talking about an ethical grounding to performance management. Having the strength to say that doing it right is the right thing to do. Kissy-kissy measures of how work gets done is weak; real judgments about how numbers were achieved with a look at the greater good, that’s a performance management system I could get behind. (And many of you know that in my world, performance management, in its present form should be scrapped.)

UPDATE: Loren Feldman at 1938Media puts this whole baseball fiasco into perspective in his inimitable style with a video called Baseball Broke My Heart. “We should be ashamed,” he says. I agree. It’s about baseball, but it’s also about cheating to win in whatever endeavor you’re in. A few NSFW words at the end, so careful if you’re playing this in your office.

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