Every business is a system, and the performance of individuals is largely the result of the way the system operates… the system causes 80% of the problems in a business, and the system is management’s responsibility.
Ranking people for merit raises pits individual employees against each other and strongly discourages collaboration.
There is no greater demotivator than a reward system that is perceived to be unfair. It doesn’t matter whether the system is fair or not. If there is a perception of unfairness, then those who think that they have been treated unfairly will rapidly lose their motivation.
When we optimize a part of a chain, we invariably suboptimize overall performance.
—Mary Poppendieck, The Best Software Writing I, 2005.