Performance Reviews Don’t Work — Do This Instead

A better way to build effective teams and facilitate career growth

Adam Prescott


Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Businesses are interesting. They usually start with an idea and a few people. Most of the time, they fizzle and die, but sometimes — about 10% of the time — they grow into something more. Of the survivors, many will reach a certain size before they plateau or decline, but a rare few will grow so large that they become ubiquitous with society itself.

The idea is the seed that starts it all, and so we tend to romanticize it. You need a million-dollar — no, BILLION-dollar — idea, and then you execute, and that’s how you win!


Well, sort of. The path to success or failure can start with a good idea or a bad one. Many great ideas have failed, and terrible ideas have succeeded. (Looking at you, ShamWow!) The initial concept plays a role, but it is not the essential ingredient.

Execution is more important because brilliant execution of an okay idea will outperform okay execution of a brilliant idea. Think about it: which of those two scenarios would you bet on for future potential, the one that over-delivered or the one that under-delivered?

Still, execution isn’t the most important thing because regardless of the greatness of your idea or brilliance of its execution, it’s the team that’s responsible. The team is what’s most important because the team turns ideas into reality. Great teams can even turn bad ideas into success, either by executing exceptionally well or evolving the bad ideas into good ones.

Small businesses with the best teams get to become medium-sized businesses. Additional ideas are needed to fuel the expansion, but more importantly, teams must be created to see these new initiatives through to fruition. Will the budding company maintain the greatness that made it successful in the first place, or will it experience “growing pains” and see its performance taper?

A company’s scale is limited by its ability to create effective teams. Keeping ten people happy and productive is easier than keeping a hundred people happy and productive. The largest companies in the world have hundreds of thousands of employees. Imagine what it must’ve taken to…