<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=222996&amp;fmt=gif">
30 min watch with captions and full transcript

As the Head of Talent Planning & Performance at Gap Inc., Rob Ollander-Krane understands how challenging it can be to drive change in a large organization.

In this discussion with Debra Corey, he shares just how he’s moving away from the traditional approach to performance management, instilling a growth mindset and moving to a learning culture. One where employees receive and thrive on constant feedback where managers, and not HR, own the process, and where performance reviews and performance ratings are a thing of the past. Rob shares his experience for:

  • Integrating continuous feedback into the workplace to drive performance and creating a learning culture.
  • Helping managers become masters of talent building - to give more effective feedback and improve the levels of performance.
  • Getting your leadership, managers and employees onboard with a radically new approach.


Learn Rob’s tips for building a successful & engaging performance culture:
  • Ditch annual performance reviews and ratings, it’s demotivating, disengaging, and quite frankly doesn’t work.
  • Pass the performance ‘baton’ from HR to managers, having them use and own it as a business tool.
  • Don’t shy away from resistance, it should be expected, and should be dealt with in a respectful manner.
Our favorite rebel quotes:

I'm on a one-man mission to obliterate traditional performance management from the face of the earth!

Let’s create an environment where people feel good about growing, where people want to get better, where people become masters at what they do.

Rob's interview

DEBRA COREY: Hi there, I am Debra Corey. I am the co-author of "Build it a Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement." I am here with Rob from Gap. Thank you so much for welcoming us into your office today.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: It's my pleasure.

DEBRA COREY: Yes. It was like old times, 'cause I did used to work for Gap, so it's so lovely coming back. It's just really nice to see the types of things that you've been doing over the years, and how rebellious you've been at Gap, which is what we want to talk about today.

For anybody who doesn't know Gap, which is probably next to anybody, would you maybe explain a little bit about Gap, and also what you do at the organization?

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Sure, well Gap is comprised of five different brands. Most people know our signature brand, which is Gap, but we also have four other brands, one is Banana Republic, Old Navy, a women's athletic business called Athleta, which is kind of like Lululemon, and a women';s contemporary business called Intermix, where we curate fashion for our female customers. We have a 140,000 employees worldwide.


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: We're in 40 countries in brick and mortar, and we're in 90 countries with our web presence, so we're a pretty big business. My role in the company is to focus on our talent, and specifically performance management, which most people hate to talk about, because nobody likes getting a review and a rating, and talent planning, which is sort of the combination of the employees' career aspiration, with the companies need for where the talent needs to go in the future in order to drive our success. So that's where I spend all of time for all 140,000 employees, so it's a substantial job.

DEBRA COREY: Wow. Yes. What we're going to talk about today is performance management. The thing that I find even more amazing, is, it's difficult to be a rebel in a big organization, specially when it comes to performance management. So I guess my first question is why? Why did you decide to go away from what most traditional companies do with performance management?

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Well, so I think that the biggest reason why was that our CEO came to us and said, "I don't understand why I can't get the attention of any of my HR leaders when we do our year-end process." When we got to what we called Focal, it was like two months worth of energy, and he could never get the attention of his HR leaders. So he said, "I want you to make this simpler."

DEBRA COREY: Which in HR, we would love.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Right, and not just in HR, but the business would love it-


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: ... because they feel this onerous process just weighs them down once a year, they dread coming to the end of the year. But when we started thinking about what we could deliver, we wanted to do more than make it simpler, we wanted to make it more effective. And why, was because all these HR gurus out there, all these people who study performance, and what makes for effective talent were saying, traditional performance management doesn't actually drive performance. What it does, is helps you allocate reward, but in the process, it makes most people feel really bad, creates a threat in the brain of most employees. Why would you do that?


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: We went back to him and we said, "We can make it simpler, yeah, we can do that, but we could also make it more effective. Are you willing to play?" And he said yes.

DEBRA COREY: Great. Great. Tell us what you did. You've been doing for a few years now, so yeah, maybe where it started and then you can show how it's evolved.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: This mandate from our CEOs happened at the end of 2012, so we spent 2013 designing this new program. The headlines are that we eliminated reviews and ratings. Nothing is written in our process, unless someone's on corrective action. We actually didn't change the corrective action process, it's exactly the same as before, it's highly documented, it's supported by HR, and ER, and even legal if it's a risky case. That's the only thing that's written, but everything else is really meant to be dialogue.

What we asked the organization to do was to talk about performance, 'cause all the research tells us that if you talk, and talk often, you actually have a better chance of driving performance. We separated those conversations, we asked the business to 12 conversations a year, we separated those from a one-time year-end conversation that's revolved around compensation, but what's interesting about that is, the manager may spend a few minutes saying, "Here's some things you did well, and here's some things we'd like you to work on the future," but when they get to the actual discussion of compensation, it's really simple, because if the manager and the employee are aligned, then the conversation usually is not something that is unexpected, it's something that is expected. They kind of can personally justify why they're getting that amount of bonus, or that amount of merit.

That's sort of the tactical changes that we made, but really what we did was to build a learning culture. We felt that rather than have an administrative process that just basically allocates reward, really doesn't do anything around performance, let's create an environment where people feel good about growing, where people want to get better, become masters as Daniel Pink would say, become masters at what they do. To do that, we needed to change our talent philosophy, 'cause we really were focusing on just our most senior talent, our highest potential talent. We needed to say everybody can grow.

In my research, I stumbled upon Dr. Carol Dweck, she's a Stanford professor who studies mindset. What she found is there's this mindset that actually drives performance, and she calls is growth mindset as opposed to fixed mindset, and when I read her book, I said, "Oh my god, that should be our talent philosophy."

DEBRA COREY: Your a-ha moment.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: We adopted that philosophy, and that became sort of the foundation for everything that we created. All of the components of our new process actually sit on this idea that if you set lofty goals, if you work hard, if you persist in the face of setbacks, if you ask for and receive lots of feedback from lots of places, and you, most importantly, find the insight, the learning, from your successes, and your failures, and apply that to your future, you can actually can get better at something. It feels good doing that. So we introduced that to the organization. Really what we did is we changed the behaviors of the organization. We wanted to move toward a learning culture, and we used performance management to help make that happen.

DEBRA COREY: Which is so important, because a lot of times you hear about this new way people are doing things, and you change it, but you don't start with the beginning as you said, the behavior. It just seems so obvious, but I don't know why more organizations don't do that.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Because it's easier to work on the tactical stuff-

DEBRA COREY: Yes, good point.

: ... you can check it off lists. You know what was fascinating for us is some of our business units said, "We're going to do the behavioral piece first, we want to explain growth mindset to everybody," we gave all directors and above Carol's book," and we want to actually talk in our teams about where we're seeing fixed, as the other mindset, fixed and growth mindset, and we want to help our organization get better at that first, before we start changing performance management."

I actually applauded them, because that's doing exactly what you said, it's changing the way people think, before you change the nuts and bolts of how they actually administer the process.

DEBRA COREY: Give you a chance to sort of obserb the, absorb the new behavior-


DEBRA COREY: ... and move on with that. What type of challenges, 'cause I'm sure, philosophically everybody must have thought this is great, we want everyone to have a growth mindset, but your managers are busy in the stores, you want them to talk to people 12 times a year?


DEBRA COREY: Did they all panic when they heard that?

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: So first, just to clarify, we rolled out the program to our headquarters teams only at the beginning, right?

DEBRA COREY: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE:: So, the vast majority of our employees sit in our stores-


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: ... but when we read Daniel Pink's book Drive, he talked about the difference between task workers, and knowledge workers, and so what I'm describing, we initially used for our knowledge workers, the people we pay for their creativity and their innovation. There were zillions of challenges. People were really concerned about how you're going to allocate reward in a world that doesn't have a rating. It's so easy to say you got the A grade, the B grade, the C grade, and here's the compensation that goes along with those. It sort of puts handcuffs on a manager, but it also makes it simpler, there's three choices, well maybe there's a fourth choice, which is the F grade, you failed, but it makes it very easy for them.

But, if you take that away, and you say, you can allocate any reward within our guidelines that you want to, how do managers do that? So they were really nervous about them. I'm here to tell you that it's no different than reinvesting in say a product. Our managers make a shirt like this, and perhaps it's selling well, and they want to reinvest in it, so they'll take their budget, and they'll put more money behind the shirt, and then maybe these cords that I'm wearing didn't sell very well, and they're going to put less money into that, well that's the same principle that you can apply to your employees. If you have a standard of performance, and you evaluate all of your employees against that standard, you can say, "Here's my number one person, here's my number two, number three." You still have to differentiate performance, we're just not putting a rating next to it, right?


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: We're not telling employees, "You're number one, you're number two, you're number three." So they can't compare their performance to their peers anymore. Once we got through the first year, and they actually did this, they saw that their concerns were actually ... there was nothing really behind them, it was simple to do this, because this is how they act in every other part of the business, we just handcuffed them-

DEBRA COREY: We did, but it was comfortable, you know, you've go that nice performance rating. But I mean, I remember the days of assigning the performance ratings, and it was a handcuff, and then they'd start saying, "But actually they weren't that, they were this," 'cause they wanted to give them the money, so it did force them down a route that probably wasn't always the right thing to do for them, so it's good to know it works. I think it's a brilliant idea.

So what's the result been of it? So you've done this new approach, have you seen differences in behaviors and actions?

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: I'm going to talk about the first year. I realize here we are in 2017-


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: ... and I would love to be able to tell you how we're doing today. We've sort of handed performance management to the business. As an HR team, we're not doing a lot of monitoring today, it's a business tool. We gave them the tool, they need to use it the way that want. But in the first year, when we were trying to teach this, and we were helping managers increase their capability, we wanted to survey not the managers, but the employees to find out what they thought of these 12 conversations that were happening throughout the year. First we asked them, "Are you having the conversations?" And 90% of the people who responded to the survey said they were. I almost fell out of my chair.

DEBRA COREY: You weren't expecting that.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: We had employees who told us they hadn't spoken to their managers about any topic for months. That in and of itself is wrong, but certainly not about performance. So here they were having 12 conversations a year, which was wonderful. But what I really want to know was, so are these conversations doing anything, or are they just-

DEBRA COREY: Or are they just ticking the box.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Yeah right. So we asked three quality questions.  The first one is, are these conversations, and is your managing helping you to improve your level of performance? On a scale of five, five being the highest, 4.2. Again, I almost fell out of my chair. Even if it wasn't true in reality, even if the performance wasn't changing at all, the fact the employee thought it was, was an engager, that was the first one.

The second was, is your manager helping you find the insight, the learning in your successes and your failures, and helping you apply that to the future? 4.1, again, I'm going, "Wow, even if it's not true, the fact that they think that, means they are finding value in these conversations."

And then the most important question for me was, is your ... now I'm forgetting the question, is the way in which your manager giving you feedback making you want to get more? Originally I wanted it to say, or make you want to work for someone else, because I think sometimes it's the way the manger gives the feedback-


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: ... it's not the actual feedback, but the style that's the issue. We did a lot to help our managers understand how to change their style. So I wanted to know, are these managers doing it in a way that's making you want to get this feedback and get more? 4.2, so we walked away from that first year feeling that we had a success.

What's really interesting is we didn't broadcast that information out to the organization, we didn't say, this group of managers is doing well, and this group of managers isn't, or this individual manager is good, and this individual manager is bad, we simply sent the information to the manager. It was a growth mindset environment, we wanted people to learn to get better from their success and failures. We said, "If you like the result, keep doing what you're doing. If you don't like the result, here are a bunch of things you can do to get better at this, to learn, to become a master at talent building."

DEBRA COREY: It wasn't threatening them, because it went to them as opposed to going to their boss, or anything like that.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Of course HR kept saying, "Send me the results. We want to see. We want to know." I kept saying, "We are not the police anymore."

DEBRA COREY: Right, good for you.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: The business needs to own this. This is a business process, not an HR process.

DEBRA COREY: Mm-hmm (affirmative). It sounds like you did a lot upfront though. The part
about the feedback was done well. You must have spent a lot of time making sure your managers were comfortable with this new way of working.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Yeah, and what's interesting is that there are some managers who are just naturally good at being talent builders, and having coaching conversations and giving effective feedback, and listening more than they say, and there's some who just aren't.


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: And there are some who want to get better, and can, and there's some who just don't care. That didn't change. We spent a lot of time helping our managers understand everything about the process. We had five different modules where they had an opportunity to have some intact learning and discovery and practice, and then application. One of them was about how to give better feedback, and we explained to them the threat that's created when somebody says, "I've got some feedback for you." Just telling them that and teaching them that doesn't mean all the behavior changed. I'm hoping that it gets better over time, and that employees who have managers who give feedback in a way that doesn't feel good, actually go and work for someone else, I mean that's the best result for me.

DEBRA COREY: If it's not right for them.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: But yeah, we try to build capability where we could, and we're realistic that this is one of many things that a manager needs to do and to expect them to only focus on that, and all of a sudden to become a master at being a talent builder is unrealistic.

DEBRA COREY: Right, but at least it's giving them the tools and the understanding to do that, so no, I think that's great. So you rolled it out in corporate first?


DEBRA COREY: Yes, it worked well?


DEBRA COREY: Yay, the CEO was happy?

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Yeah, our CEO actually left the company a few years ago, but he was a total advocate the whole time he was here, and when the new CEO came in, we were wondering, did he want to keep it, or get rid of it? And it's still here, still our performance management process. But it sounds like you were heading down the road of what about the stores?

DEBRA COREY: Well, just curious what's happening next with the stores?

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: There are some other things that we want to do at headquarters, but the vast majority of our employees sit in the stores, and I always, my contention from the start was, let's start with the stores. Why do we do this process with a workforce that's mostly seasonal, or at best, part-time? A lot of our people work for us for a year or less, what's the value of doing a full review and a rating for that group when they're not here that long.  Maybe for your mangers who stay longer, but certainly not your sales team. I was really struggling to convince our businesses to do this, but I got one business to do it. They designed in 2015, and they rolled it out in 2016. The components are similar. Managers talk to their employees in store every day to say-

DEBRA COREY: They do, it's more frequent.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: ... talk 12 times a year would be telling them to talk less. But they did put in a couple more formal, they're still informal discussions, but more formal checkpoints, that are a little bit more focused on overall behavior. But what that really did was instill the growth mindset idea that everybody could grow, and they got rid of the review, and got rid of the ratings.

So the administrative burden is gone, but here's the really amazing thing that they did, we know that when you reward someone, and recognize someone close to the actual behavior that you've seen, the closer you are to that behavior the better your return on that investment is. So waiting till the end of year is just ridiculous, it's just way too long. They took their merit program, which used to be differentiated, you know, some person got 2.5%, and another got 2.6, took a long time to figure that out, administrative, and not an incredible return on that investment, and they said, "We're giving everybody the same merit at the end of the year, but we're going to take some of that merit pool, and we're going to create a most valuable player award," and this was in our Athleta brand.

DEBRA COREY: Oh, I like that.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: So most valuable player fits really well with an athletic brand, these managers have some money to give out spot bonuses when they see the performance they want to see in the moment. What's beautiful about this, is every single person who has been promoted from sales person to first-time supervisor in our businesses, was someone who received an MVP award. And every HR metric they've been tracking in those stores since this started has improved.

DEBRA COREY: Wow, does everybody else now want to jump on the bandwagon and join in?

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Interestingly, no.


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: It's like they ... "Oh that won't work in our brand. Athleta's small, we're big, we can't scale it." I say basically you're wrong. Again, this is a business process. I can't push people harder than they want to go. I keep telling the Head of HR and Athleta to keep talking to his peers about this, and I keep telling his peers to go into Athleta stores and talk to the sales associates about how this feels, and what's different, and how it's driving performance, they'll get there eventually, hopefully. But right now, one brand.

DEBRA COREY: But I think that's really important. Our role in HR is not to push what we think is right. Our role is to share with them what we think will work, and to, as your point, use other business partners to help, because if you push it on them, it's not going to work.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Yeah, we often push. We often say we become the police, "This is what you must do." I want to share with them the research, the best practices, what other companies are doing, and in this case, what one of our companies is doing that's been so successful, and let them make the decision. Again, if they feel that this is not a driver, or it's not important, an important driver now, I'm not going to tell them they have to do it. The CEO might want to, I'm not.

DEBRA COREY: No, makes sense. I have a question about the name, so you said it was called Focal, and I still have a coffee mug that says, "I survived Focal." I still have one, 10 years ago.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: I would love to see that.

DEBRA COREY: What is the name of your program? I love it.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: I don't even know what Focal means. It's a compensation term.

DEBRA COREY: We had lots of names for what it stood for. We won't go into that.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: I think it was actually a comp term.

DEBRA COREY: It was, yeah.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Why would a performance management process ever be given a comp term? When I started to do the research around this, one of the things that all the gurus said was that you should brand your program, and it should be a brand that resonates with the other brands in your business, right?

DEBRA COREY: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: It should fit in with your company's branding. Our stock ticker, on the stock market, is GPS, and we thought, "Whoa, we need to leverage that, because if that's the indication of our external success, why shouldn't it be the internal success?" So we said, "What could we call it?" And we said, "Well it could it Grow Perform Succeed." So that's the name of the program, but what I love about the fact that it's called GPS is the analogy. What a GPS does, you know, the one that you use in your car, or on your handheld-

DEBRA COREY: I call it a Sat Nav in England, but I do know what a GPS is, same idea.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: A Sat Nav? Okay, so same idea. A GPS allows you to pick your goal, where you want to go, it knows where you are, and then it helps recalculate your route if you make a mistake heading toward the goal, and that's exactly what we want managers to do. If a, you call it a Sat Nav?



DEBRA COREY: Stick with GPS.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: If GPS waited until you got to your goal to tell you made a wrong turn 10 miles ago, or 10 kilometers ago, you wouldn't get to your goal, so why would we wait in business to tell an employee that they made a wrong turn. We want them to, as our machines would say, "Recalculate," whenever an employee makes the wrong turn. Then hopefully, they'll actually get to the destination.

DEBRA COREY: Which is what traditional performance management does, it waits until the end of the year, and you say, you're like, what have I been doing wrong all year, where have you been? I think the name is so important, and it's such a great name. Does everybody now, when you speak, when you use that name...

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Yeah, they call our year-end process, or our performance process GPS, but what I really love, I didn't mention that we created a very specific feedback model, and we did it because we were trying to find a feedback model that didn't create that threat in the brain of someone when you say, "I've got feedback for you." It's three questions, it's; what did you do well? Where did you get stuck? And what would you do differently next time? We want a manager to ask those questions when they want to give feedback, that sounds really weird, but we want to the employee to report out first, then the manager can supplement, say, "I disagree with you," whatever, but businesses call that GPSing it. Some businesses like Athleta actually use that for all of their hind-sighting, not just how did the employee do, but how was the business doing?

DEBRA COREY: You've created a revolution here.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Let's GPS that, which I love.

DEBRA COREY: I love it. That's great.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: At least the Athleta brand, I think they're calling it that. I hope eventually it catches on everywhere. But except in the stores where there still using Focal, everybody else calls it GPS, and they call them GPS touch bases, so that brand is really taking off. I should have worn my GPS shirt.

DEBRA COREY: Oh you got one?

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: We have branding. We creating shirts and other collateral to help the organization sort of embrace this brand.

DEBRA COREY: That's brilliant. Now I know that you speak all over the place on this, do you have any, maybe some final words of wisdom, so for companies who would like to do this, 'cause I do know it is a big change to do this.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Well first let me say that what we did here was right for us. It was right for our brand, our employees, our level of business maturity, our industry, it's not right for everyone. We didn't want a person-to-person competitive environment, we wanted a growth mindset environment. For you to listen to what I'm saying, and take this and say, "I can do exactly the same thing in my organization," don't do that.


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Do your research. Read the books that I read. Read other books. Talk-

DEBRA COREY: You said you spent six months researching.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Yeah, it was only four-

DEBRA COREY: Four, sorry, four, okay.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: ... but it felt like four years. In business, you very rarely get that amount of time to research, but this was so important to the company, and I really wanted to understand what drove performance, and what parts of performance management could help that, and would hinder that. So do your research, talk to your employees, talk to your leadership team. We interviewed our entire C-Suite, and we didn't ask them what they like about performance management, 'cause honestly, I don't care what they think about performance management, they're not the experts in it, they only know traditional performance management.


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: They might have said, "Well, I hate ratings," but I didn';t ask them that question, I said, "Where are you not seeing the behaviors that to want to see to drive performance so you can be competitive in the marketplace, describe that to me." They gave us some guiding principles, which we used to help build the program. We brought in cross functional leaders from HR and from all over the business. This is a huge behavioral change that we made.


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Create your change plan, do your research, engage your leaders, and create your own plan. So, that would be the first thing I would say. You're going to bump up again resistance, and it's going to come from two places, one from more traditional leaders, who tend to be your C-Suite, they tend to be your older, more established leaders-

DEBRA COREY: It's the only way they know.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE:: Right. It is the only thing they've ever done, and they thought it worked.


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: And they're going to push back on you and say, "But I like ratings," and I'm going to say, "I don't care what you like. Let's talk about what works." You're going to get resistance from them, and, for anyone who's in HR, you're going to get a lot of resistance from HR, because this is a place where HR feels they add value.


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: They're a big player in this process.

DEBRA COREY: People like me in rewards.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: There you go. Here I'm telling you, you have a different role these days. We had a whole separate learning track, a whole separate change plan for HR within our company, because we knew that if we didn't help them with this transition they wouldn't help the business with the transition.

DEBRA COREY: It's a really important point.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: That's the second thing. Package your research so that the whole company knows what you're doing. Convince them like the research hopefully convinced you. Finally, realize, at least the change we made, puts the accountability for this process on the manager, the employee and the business. You have to be comfortable with the fact that you're no longer being the police. It's going to feel clunky, and you might not be as successful as you would have been if you forced it, but ultimately, if the business can adopt this process, and make it their own, you will be successful, and the mangers will be able to do this process without you having to handcuff them, or you crack the whip.

You as a practitioner have to feel comfortable with that. Every time I present, one of the questions I have is, "Well how did you know the business was doing this?" My answer is always, "I don';t care if they're doing it. If they don't find value in it, that's okay with me. I can't force them to do it."

DEBRA COREY: Right. And that's true with anything. But it sounds like you didn't force them, but they are doing it. I mean 90% is amazing.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: And that was the first year, I want to be fair, if we polled today, I don't know what it would look like.


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: I wish I knew, because I still sort of have that-


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: ... I want to be the police. I was groomed to do that. I have to be okay with that, and let it be a business process. Now if the business says, "I'm not sure it's working very well, and we want your help in engaging our audiences and holding people accountable again." Then I would certainly jump in, but I'm not, as an HR leader going to jump in and do it on my own.

DEBRA COREY: Well the fact that they're using the terminology, that says something about the program. I think there's a really, really helpful tips for anyone who is interested in doing something like this. I really appreciate your help.

Is there anything else that I've missed, that I haven't asked you? I think there is one question that you get all the time, besides pay, so people like me get nervous about how do you manage the pay, the legal side too. How can you do ... especially in the US, how can you do that legally, aren't you going to get in trouble?

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: You know, it's not just in the US, it's all over the place.

: Yeah, it's everywhere.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: One of the things that I was concerned about when we were first considering doing this, was what were the Work Councils in Europe going to think?

DEBRA COREY: Yes, good point.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: I was worried about, culturally, how this would float in Japan, and other parts of Asia. To my surprise, when we talked to the Work Councils in Europe, they said anything that actually helps an employee get more feedback, and helps them perform, we want, make it happen.

DEBRA COREY: Wow. Tomorrow.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: We struggled a little bit culturally in Japan in particular, when we worked with people on the ground to help us how to help them understand the concept of growth mindset. The oddest thing happened, one of our ITT members in Japan discovered a growth mindset video in Japanese, and they used that to help their teams understand it, and it sort of, it helped us jump over that cultural barrier. We had someone in China actually say to us, "Thank you for telling it's okay to take a risk." Like, wow. I know you didn't ask the cultural question-

DEBRA COREY: No, that's good, I'm glad you brought it up.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: ... but and the global question, but it definitely jumped out there. But legally, the question I always get is, "Well, how can you fight a termination case in court if you don't have a review and a rating?" I'm here to tell you that more often, managers put the nice stuff in a review, more often managers pick the higher ratings, and not the real rating, and more often, because reviews only happen once a year, the behavior that you're terminating for doesn't show up in a review over time. That doesn't really help you fight the case in court.

DEBRA COREY: You thought it was, but it wasn't really.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Legal was one of the teams that was in this work from day one, because I said I'm not doing this unless I have all my partners by my side. I don't want to go to legal at the end and say, "Here's what we created, what do you think?" They also said although there are risks to not having reviews and ratings, we think that it's actually better. If you can get people to talk more often, and actually prevent us from getting to the point where we have to terminate someone because of employment. We're willing to take the risk of not having these reviews and ratings, which tend to not help us anyway.


ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: So they were a little bit more progressive, which allowed me to do this, 'cause I bet there are other legal teams who would say, "Absolutely not, we need something written." That's okay. If your organization wants to keep ratings and keep its reviews, but have more conversations? That's okay, you don't have to do exactly what we did. We wanted to do that, because we didn't think there was value on those things.

DEBRA COREY: But I think that's a really good point as you said at the beginning, you have to do what's right for you, and if your legal team feel a certain way ... I love your point about cultural also, because it is important just to make sure that it's going to work in all of your countries and not just in one. It's good that you did that work upfront to embed it in the different countries.


DEBRA COREY: Yeah, sounds like you';ve done a amazing job. I'm ready to go out and do it in my company. So I'll give you a ring.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: Well, I'm on a one-man mission to obliterate traditional performance management from the face of the earth. So when you're ready to do that, and you want to talk, I'll be glad to help you.

DEBRA COREY: That sounds great. Well thank you again, really appreciate it. If you'd like to hear more about this, and other plays, other stories that we have, they're in the book, Rebel Playbook, Build it, Rebel Playbook to Employee Engagement.

If you'd like to see more videos, 'cause we've been doing lots of interviews with people, which has been fantastic, or you want some resources on employee engagement, they're all free, you can go to our website, which is rebelplaybook.com. I just wish you all the best with your employee engagement journey. Things like this are really going help all of us improve engagement in our organizations. Last, but not least, don't be afraid to be a bit of a rebel. You've done it, everyone else can do it.


DEBRA COREY: Yes. Thank you very much.

ROB OLLANDER-KRANE: My pleasure, thank you.