How does an organization decide to implement a performance management system? To answer this we can learn a lesson from the Malcolm Gladwell, a social scientist and author of the The Tipping Point, who describes how changes in mind-set and perception can attain a critical mass and then quickly create an entirely different position of opinion. Let's apply Gladwell's thinking to the question of whether the widespread adoption of performance management is near its tipping point or whether we will only know this in retrospect after it has happened.

Gladwell observed that to determine whether something is approaching the verge of its tipping point, such as an event or catalyst, it should cause people to reframe an issue. For example, just-in-time production control reframed manufacturing operations from classical batch-and-queue economic order quantity (EOQ) thinking to the method based on customer demand-pull product throughput acceleration. So, is performance management reframing issues and nearing its tipping point? To answer this, we should first acknowledge that performance management is not a new methodology that everyone has to learn, but rather it is the assemblage and integration of existing methodologies that most managers are already familiar with. Collectively, these methodologies manage the execution of an organization's strategy.

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