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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Performance Reviews Don't Have to be Exercises in 'Sadism'

November 11, 2013, 3:20 PM
Shutterstock_119470855

It's that time of year when employees start to stress about their annual performance review, a ritual that is often drawn out and, some critics charge, completely irrational. 

"It’s a sadistic process for what purpose I don’t know."

That's how the clinical psychologist Aubrey Daniels described performance reviews to Bloomberg Businessweek.  

If sadistic sounds like a strong word, consider the controversial "stack ranking" method that some companies employ. By grading employees on a curve, a certain number must be branded "underperformers," and this, critics charge, encourages back-stabbing. 

"Stack ranking" is certainly not the only controversial performance review method out there. But instead of listing them all here, we'd prefer to share a novel idea that was presented to Big Think by the entrepreneur Jack Hidary.

Instead of creating paranoia and crushing morale, reviews can be used to incentivize what's really important to a business. And that, in Hidary's view, is innovation, rather than just fulfilling day-to-day activities. 

Watch the video here:

For more expert video content to inspire, engage and motivate your employees, visit Big Think Edge

Watch the video below and sign up for your free trial to Big Think Edge today. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

More from the Big Idea for Wednesday, July 02 2014

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Even if someone is skilled at giving feedback, it can be difficult to hear how we need to improve. All feedback is good feedback, even if delivered the wrong way. Sheila Heen, a Partner at Tria... Read More…

 

Performance Reviews Don't H...

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