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Hot, Hot, Hot

July 8, 2010

Supposed to be up around 100 today, which is absolutely scorching for Seattle. Most of my day is going to be up in the Everett area which sucks lots of time in traffic on 99; fortunately I have some audiobooks and a few lectures from iTunes U that I can listen to while I am driving.

Speaking of Hot, Hot, Hot – apparently Barbara Boxer is feeling some heat. She is in a statistical tie with Carly Fiorina. As you know I have not been happy with some of the recent GOP candidates (still not actually) but Fiorina actually gives me a little hope that what should have been an overwhelming victory won’t turn into soul-crushing defeat in November.

The Pacific garnered a number of Emmy nominations this morning. I have to say that I wasn’t nearly as impressed with it as I was with Band of Brothers, mainly because the story was too disjointed. There was no unifying character like Maj. Winters. If they had concentrated on any of the three main characters it would have been much better.

XBradTC disagrees with the idea of making Petraeus a 5 Star General. All his points are good but I don’t think he fully considers the political advantages the rank would give Petraeus in setting policy in Afghanistan. I don’t know if that is enough to outweigh the numerous disadvantages that XBradTC lays out but I wouldn’t dismiss the idea out of hand, especially considering I heard yesterday that the newest claim is that Al-Qaeda has decamped to Somalia. If that is true then that is yet another front that Petraeus may have to take responsibility for.

Kos from the Daily Kos (I don’t care enough to look up his real name) is temporarily banned from MSNBC. Sometimes words have consequences, maybe next time he will think before implying someone was involved in a murder / illict death.

Another one of those things that everyone knows but no one talks about

Employee performance reviews should be eliminated, according to UCLA business professor Samuel Culbert. “First, they’re dishonest and fraudulent. And second, they’re just plain bad management,” he says

The problem with the practice, Culbert tells NPR’s Renee Montagne, is that periodic reviews create circumstances that help neither the employee nor the company to improve. As Culbert and his co-author, Larry Rout, write in their book, Get Rid of the Performance Review!, annual reviews do not promote candid discussions about problems in the workplace — and their potential solutions.

Instead, Culbert says, when workers undergo a review, “They’re going to talk about all their successes — it becomes total baloney.”

And management participates in the charade, as well, he says: “The boss already has heard [from] his boss what they want to pay the guy, or the woman. So they come up with a review that’s all backwards.”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. xbradtc permalink
    July 8, 2010 10:47 am

    Well, one other concern with promoting Petraeus would be the inversion of the chain of command. How can you have a 5-star theater commander, when the Chairman of the JCS is a 4-star? By law, the Chairman is the senior officer on active duty. Do you promote him as well? Well, heck might as well bump up the Chief of Staff of the Army as well, since you have the same legal issue, that he is the senior Army officer. And that almost guarantees pressure to promote the other service chiefs. Where does it end? Pretty soon, squad leaders will be Majors.

  2. jenn1964 permalink*
    July 8, 2010 1:18 pm

    Positional authority. MacArthur outranked every other officer in the Army in WWII by virtue of date of rank and numerical list. They just said it didn’t count.

    I’m not saying that the move would be a good one just that there are some considerations that deserve a good hard look. There might be away to obtain the same results without the headaches.

    • xbradtc permalink
      July 9, 2010 1:26 pm

      Positional authority is one thing when everyone is the same paygrade. It’s a bit different when different grades are in play.

  3. July 8, 2010 6:18 pm

    On the performance-review issue: If you take away BS, what else do managerial types have to play with? (Organizations, said Dave Barry, hold meetings because they’re incapable of actual masturbation.)

    • jenn1964 permalink*
      July 8, 2010 8:40 pm

      I bet Dave Berry said that before the internet 🙂

      I like the idea of ongoing (bi-weekly or monthly) performance reviews so that actual productive steps can be taken. The annual review is just HR types and Lawyers getting their .02 cents in to everyone elses detriment.

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