Performance management died at TiEcon Mumbai 2016

But TiEcon lived up to its promise of inspiring, celebrating and playing out entrepreneurship at its best. Hundreds and thousands of relationships got built or warmed up during day 1 and more are being made as I write this.

Amidst Ratan Tata, Kunal Behl fireside chat and Madhuri Dixit, Dr. Nene high glamour uproars, there were little little learning opportunities. In this post I write one such interesting case that got played out led by the awesome MC of the event. I am re-living that piece for its learning value, Performance management dies is an apt name for the piece. Feel free to argue.

MC went into overdrive on fitness and asked for volunteers to come on stage, looking at GoQii as reward numerous jumped in. So incentive view upfront works. Some 8  or 9 of them played the round, game was simple "You have to do push ups, one who last longest wins". Music played, all started push ups, 4 got in to the finals. I'll focus on these 4 and another 1 who didn't do any push ups at all but made it to finals. Let's name our finalists as Tall guy, Hitwicket, Lady 1, Lady 2 and NoPushup, our five finalists. Here's what happened in the final round.

Tall guy did maximum number of push ups, that too in perfect form, slowed down a bit towards the end, because he was doing pushups in perfect form.

HitWicket kept average pace, didn't do maximum number of pushups but because of lesser number of them kept saving stamina and maintained same pace even towards the end.

Lady 1 & Lady 2 did almost half the number of pushups with adequate intervals between one and second, hung in the positions lot more than normally allowed in any game. 

NoPushup did just that, cheered and clapped.

Now results time: Winner is (Tall guy, you thought, we thought, we almost clapped, he almost raised hands), HitWicket!!!

Amidst cheer and hullabaloo GoQii got delivered to winning hands. Then runner ups got it, yeah Lady 1 & Lady 2 :) Now it was time for rewarding respect, so another GoQii goes to NoPushup, yeah (whatever happened to the game which was about pushups). Okay game over.

Tallguy was the real performer and I guess was even counting his score. He revolted and asked for the award. Award? For what? "For the effort", he was being polite, he was the winner actually. But MC was kind, he created another quick opportunity, changed the game to "dance for reward", poor Tallguy, then danced, humored, performed again and finally walked with his GoQii.

All's well that ends well.

I got thinking, isn't this exactly how performance management runs in Organisations? There are lot of learning in this real showcase, it just happened yesterday in a fun & harmless way. But it gets played out in millions of Organisations across the World in a more harmful ways.

Can someone point out various things that went wrong in this game from performance management perspective? HR folks? What's your take?