Thursday, June 22, 2006


For those in Corporate Life, the end of year review can be a bit of a mixed bag. You have to be realistic ( how many of us have really exceeded?) and still put your best foot forward on an absolute basis. Telecom NZ has run a combination of a normal distribution of staff and a peer review system for the last few years which you could only describe as imperfect (no-one has come up with a better system, mind you) for all involved. There have been some significant improvements in the last two years (the best being that there is no forced distribution for the bottom category - most of the non-performers have been systematically weeded out).

we had a mock peer review today in preparation for end of year - all I can say is that that the Management Team I am part of did an incredibly mature job of a dificult conversation. When you are working to a forced distribution to some extent there are people who are relatively worst performers than their peers yet have exceeded expectations on an absolute basis. Sometimes you have to take a hit for the team - I couldn't help but reflect that of the 8 people in the room at least 2 of those are going to be having end of year conversations that are going to be along the lines of 'You met your targets, yet I'm going to have to say that relative to your peers, you didn't do as well. Your bonus it going to take a hit'. I don't expect any sympathy (far from it - this is what we get paid for) but for those who end up having that conversation with your boss - we don't take those decisions lightly and there's no fair way to do it. Ouch.

On a positive note I have to say that spending a good couple of hours reflecting on my own performance has led me to a couple of conclusions...

1. I am really proud of the capability that we are developing in understanding and researching new technology and customer behaviour at Telecom and think this will be fundamental in creating competitive advantage in the longterm. Our work on IPTV and some of the things we are bringing to the organisation (our own wiki - work in progress) will make a big difference in how quickly we share information around the organisation.

2. I could have done a much better job in leading my own team over the last 8 months - sorry guys. Better effort on cards for next year.

3. The work that a number of people pulled together in an incredibly short period of time to launch Telecom's Mobile Music store last year was nothing short of phenomenal. 5 week build period and we can bill it too! A pleasure to lead...

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