Podcast #117 – Samuel A. Culbert, “Get Rid of the Performance Review!”


MP3 File (run time 30:42)

Episode #117 is a conversation with Prof. Samuel A. Culbert of the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Along with Daniel Pink, he is a fellow alum of Northwestern University. Prof. Culbert has a BS in Systems Engineering, the precursor of the Industrial Engineering department in which I was a student. Dr. Culbert then earned a PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA.

Today, we are talking about his most recent book, Get Rid of the Performance Review!: How Companies Can Stop Intimidating, Start Managing–and Focus on What Really Matters. Much like Dan Pink's take on incentives in the workplace, Culbert is a contrarian about the generally accepted (yet dysfunctional) practice of the “annual performance review.” In his writing, Culbert calls them “corporate theatre,” as well as a “sham,” a “facade,” “immoral” and “intimidating”. In the podcast, we talk about the problems and alternatives to this common management practice.

For a link to episode, refer people to  www.leanblog.org/117.

Recent articles by Prof. Culbert, via my blog posts:

Prof. Culbert mentioned that he only discovered the work of Dr. W. Edwards Deming a few years back, although they were both railing against the annual performance review in 1980. They must be “long lost cousins,” Culbert says, and I would agree.

A WSJ video with Prof. Culbert:

For earlier episodes, visit the  main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS or via Apple Podcasts.

If you have feedback on the podcast, or any questions for me or my guests, you can email me at leanpodcast@gmail.com or you can call and leave a voicemail by calling the “Lean Line” at (817) 993-0630 or contact me via Skype id “mgraban”. Please give your location and your first name. Any comments (email or voicemail) might be used in follow ups to the podcast.

To read the full transcript of this podcast, plus over 20 more discussions with world-renowned Lean leaders and other interesting guests, please consider buying my e-Book or a special package that includes an easy download of all of the MP3 podcast files.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

  1. Ankit Patel says

    Great posting Mark!

    I think the video hit it great about servant leadership. It reminds me of a similar concept of referential and positional influence. Referential influence is when people like you and they will listen to you. Positional influence is when people listen to you because you are in a position of power. Referential influence is much more effective.


    1. Mark Graban says

      Glad you liked the podcast! Your comment makes me think of the Toyota expression, as told by Gary Convis: Lead as if you have no power.

  2. […] If some healthcare organizations can get rid of the annual budgeting process, then there’s hope that annual reviews can disappear too (listen to a great podcast on that subject). […]

  3. […] Listen to my podcast (2011) with Dr. Culbert. […]

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