Banish the cult of the A-B-C player!

Many managers are enamored of the ABC player model first made popular by Jack Welch at GE and since then adopted by many organizations wishing to raise the bar on employee performance and to confront festering performance problems. Some versions of this approach involve forced ranking, in which the top 20% of employees must be classified as A players, the middle 70% as B’s, and the bottom 10% as C’s – and then the C’s exited from the organization like so much deadwood.   The forced ranking component of this approach is controversial and has been abandoned by many organizations because of the toxic consequences, which were engraved into the […]

I’m 30, have an MBA, been here 5 years, why am I not a VP?

If you work in HR, you’ve almost certainly heard a question like this one, and maybe even struggled to come up with a solid response. One of my senior HR clients recently asked me to help him respond to a similar question from his leadership team colleagues – “We have several directors with 5-10 years’ experience who want to know when they will be VPs – so what do we tell them?” Historically, titles and compensation were tied to specific roles, and promotion was available only when that role was vacated, or when similar new roles were created – the classic hierarchical model. Recently, this model has begun to change, […]