This article, carried by Yahoo News from the Wall Street Journal succinctly says something that usually goes unsaid. It goes unsaid for the same reason that “Only Nixon could go to China” – only someone who is heavily invested in the performance review system can dare to criticize it. This, in itself, is an indictment of a process built built around control and fear.
Deming called out the same message decades ago. And even managers who purport to agree immediately start making excuses and justifications for why performance reviews are necessary.
If the question to be answered was “How does this Team Member know he is succeeding each day?” rather than “How do we rank and compare the Team Members against one another?” what would be different about this process?