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2017 Performance Management Innovation Conference

Feedforward, Not Feedback

May 16-17, 2017 | Chicago, IL

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

8:00-4:00 PM


8:00-8:30 AM


8:30-9:00 AM

Welcome/Opening Remarks

Bill Craib, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Learning, Human Capital Institute (HCI)
9:00-9:30 AM
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In this keynote, David Rock shares research that the NeuroLeadership Institute has conducted over the past two years with 27 companies that have embarked on a performance management transformation. David will outline what companies have done for successful performance management implementation.

You will learn:

  • What you should prioritize during a performance management transformation.
  • How to start off on the right foot.
  • What were the shared successes and lessons learned?
9:30-10:00 AM
Anna Tavis, Ph.D., Clinical Associate Professor, Leadership and Human Capital Management, New York University; Editor, People + Strategy
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Professor Anna Tavis will share her (and Peter Capelli’s) findings from their October 2016 article, “The Performance Management Revolution: The Focus Shifts from Accountability to Learning” in the Harvard Business Review.  How do you decide what your end performance management system should look like? Before any human resources professional embarks on a performance management revolution—or a scaled down approach to performance management—each organization needs to embark on its own cultural discovery process. First find the natural rhythm of your organization and its people to develop the timing of your feedback system.  

In the keynote, Dr. Anna Tavis will offer a framework to decide what questions you need to ask your organization first, such as

  • How to get—and keep—executive sponsorship.
  • How to align individual and company goals.
  • How will you reward for performance.
  • How will you identify poor performers.
  • How to avoid legal troubles.
10:00-10:45 AM

Networking Break

10:45-11:15 AM
Ashley Goodall, Senior Vice President of Leadership and Team Intelligence, Cisco Systems, Inc.
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The emphasis in HR has been on individual performance, but now Cisco has taken a bold step to create a Team Intelligence unit focusing not just on individual performance but on team performance. Learn how and why this was created by the architect Ashley Goodall, co-author of the Harvard Business Review article entitled “Re-inventing Performance Management.” Learn what Ashley has discovered about what makes a great team and how performance management has been re-invented at Cisco.

In this keynote, you will learn:

  • Move beyond individual performance to team performance.
  • What makes a great team.
  • How the “team” is focal point of re-invented performance management.
11:15-11:50 AM
Rob Ollander-Krane, Director of Talent Planning and Performance, Gap Inc.
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Gap Inc. radically reinvented their performance management process from one that focuses on administrative and compliance, to one that focuses on performance. From one with ratings and reviews, to one with discussions that drive performance. The new process known as GPS - Grow. Perform. Succeed. - is based in neuroscience and strives to create a more positive employee-manager feedback experience. Like a real GPS, Gap’s GPS enables managers to help their employees “recalculate” as they make their way towards their goals.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to make the business case and engage leaders in revitalizing the performance process
  • The research, benchmarking, and methodology used
  • The results and lessons learned of this bold implementation
11:50-1:00 PM


1:00-1:40 PM
​Cheryl Johnson​, Senior Vice President of Talent, Echo Global Logistics
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A strong partnership between HR and the business can have a major impact on the overall employee experience. With today’s highly global, disparate and diverse workforces, it is more important than ever to empower employees and managers to ultimately drive greater engagement and performance.

During this session, Cheryl Johnson will discuss the challenges of creating consistent employee experiences for Echo's highly distributed, largely millennial workforce and the role of its cutting-edge program that ties together social recognition, collaboration, leadership development and the constructive use of employee (and customer) feedback.

Attendees will learn from Johnson's real-world experience creating a holistic program to:

  • Reinforce the company’s promise, purpose and values.
  • Track tangible goals to measure success, including its ability to reduce turnover, increase brand loyalty and provide ways for employees to improve and grow.
  • Appeal to Millennials while not alienating other generations.
  • Fit seamlessly into employees’ everyday tasks without creating extra work.
1:40-2:20 PM
Libby Barker, Performance Management Lead, Booz Allen Hamilton
Laurie Bravo, Performance Management, Booz Allen Hamilton
Suzette Mitchell, Director of Talent Strategy, Booz Allen Hamilton
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Everyone is talking about how ineffective traditional performance management is.  Either you’ve redesigned your processes or you’re thinking about it.  No doubt you’ve heard the buzz about agile goal setting, removing rating, and encouraging more frequent feedback.  Sounds great, right?  But if everything we’ve tried in the past didn’t work, how are we going to get this to be effective?

Three years ago, Booz Allen Hamilton radically changed the way they conducted performance management activities, streamlining a bulky, ineffective, administratively heavy process into one that is simple, and focused on feedback and development instead of a rating.

In this session, you will learn about Booz Allen’s journey:

  • What we did to make performance management more valuable to staff and the business.
  • How we doubled-down on change management to help leaders and staff prepare for change. and our strategies for keeping them engaged.
  • What happened two years in – what was working, what wasn’t.
  • What we’re doing to equip managers to have higher quality, more organic conversations.
2:20-3:00 PM

Networking Break

3:00-3:40 PM
Kamilah Thomas, Vice President of Human Resources, Corporate Resources & Global People Development, A+E Networks
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A+E Networks revolutionized its performance management approach to support the company’s transformation to a high-performance culture. Kamilah Thomas will share insights on how A+E Networks replaced its incumbent annual review and ratings system with a 90-day feedback cadence based on the OKR (Objective & Key Results) methodology. She'll share early successes and lessons learned along the way.

  • Why a continuous performance management process is key to driving high performance.
  • How to roll out a company-wide goals and feedback program, including change management best practices that help drive success.
  • What makes good goals/OKRs and why they’re important.
  • How to seamlessly connect employee goals to check-ins and feedback.
4:20-5:00 PM
Katelin Holloway, Vice President of People & Culture, Reddit
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  • How the role of culture in a high performance organization seems to be coming of age in business.
  • How if a culture is cultivated intentionally, will dramatically improve an organization’s ability to perform.
  • How to use storytelling to build connection and transparency.
5:00-6:00 PM

Networking Cocktail Reception

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

8:00-1:15 PM


8:00-8:30 AM


8:30-9:00 AM

Welcome/Opening Remarks

9:00-9:30 AM
Alan L. Colquitt, Ph.D., Director, Global Assessment and Workforce Research, Eli Lilly and Company
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Despite decades of study, performance management (PM) is seen by most business leaders and HR professionals as a failure.  While few dispute that PM is ineffective, there is little agreement on what is wrong with it and how to fix it.  Companies continued to tinker with their systems, making incremental changes every few years with little appreciable improvement.

This session will provide a fresh, unique perspective on what is wrong with PM and how to fix it.  The problem with PM is not our practices, it is with the way organizations use it (“Purpose”), the assumptions, values, and beliefs that underlie our practices (“Paradigms”) and the use of benchmarking information to guide PM designers instead of rigorous scientific evidence (“Propaganda”).  Organizations cannot make fundamental changes to improve this process until they understand well the root causes of its failure.

This session will leverage the presenter’s real-world experiences studying, designing, administering and living with PM systems inside organizations.  Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the real problems with PM  as well as evidence-based ideas and suggestions for transforming PM in ways that improve individual and organizational outcomes like performance, productivity, engagement, retention, and innovation.  

You will learn:

  • How to find your performance management purpose.
  • How you understand your assumed paradigms.
  • How to use scientific evidence for performance management designers.
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  • How to develop a company-wide growth mindset.
  • How to track and measure growth and development.
  • Immediate ways to embed new habits in managers.
10:10-10:50 AM

Networking Break

10:50-11:20 AM
Chris Mason Ph.D., Head of Talent Management/L&D, Compensation, & Workforce Analytics, Patagonia
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The landscape of performance management has shifted dramatically in the last few years with new practices - once thought radical - now seen as the new normal. Rating-less reviews, dynamic goal setting, continuous performance conversations, and crowdsourced feedback are taking the place of traditional annual goal setting, mid-year reviews, and the now controversial annual performance rating. At the same time, companies who have found new ways to improve performance are now faced with the reinvention of related Human Resource programs, including how to approach pay for performance and compensation. This session will share our journey at Patagonia to reinvent both our performance management and compensation programs including our approach to base pay adjustments and annual bonuses. The result is a continuous – employee driven – performance program that motivates ongoing learning and performance contributions linked to annual rewards, but without the need for traditional performance ratings or the annual merit process.

In this session, you will learn about:

  • The latest trends and new emerging practices in Performance Management.
  • The implementation of employee-driven “Regenerative Performance” at Patagonia built around quarterly goals, check-in conversations, and crowdsourced feedback.
  • How Patagonia links performance contributions to annual bonus awards without traditional performance review ratings.
  • How Patagonia eliminated the traditional annual merit process and moved to more frequent approach to evaluating the need for base pay adjustments.
11:20-11:50 AM
David Hanrahan, Vice President, Human Resources, Zendesk
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Engagement and performance insights must be understood alongside each other. To help unlock someone’s potential, we need to understand what currently motivates them and how well those motivators are being met. This is the first step to ensuring the subsequent performance conversation has any chance of positive effect. We also need to have performance conversations with our staff in order for them to better see the outcomes of their motivation. We need to hold the mirror up for them — but not draw their portrait. Big bold statement: Coupling engagement and performance is the key to making performance management work. Tools and teams that embrace this will be better equipped to foster high performance cultures.

You will learn:

  • Why and how to couple engagement and performance
  • How to help managers foster a more engaged, higher performing team
  • How to create a positive impact on the overall company objectives and culture
11:50-12:30 PM
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  • The difference between performance management and coaching
  • How coaching can elevate employees, managers and leaders to higher levels of performance
  • How to support managers as coaches—leveraging managers for real performance development
  • Linking coaching to long-term development
  • Using a multi-model approach—More than a tool for executives and high potentials.
12:30-1:30 PM

Lunch (Roundtable Discussions)

1:30-2:00 PM
Sam Anderson, Director, Global Talent Management, Cardinal Health
Lisa Briya, Vice President, Human Resources Business Partner, Cardinal Health
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What would you do if you knew your performance management approach was no longer meeting its objective?  Sam Anderson and Lisa Briya of Cardinal Health will share what they learned after managing 4 different performance management pilots over 2 years.  The insights they collected influenced the approach used to evolve performance management from being a dreaded waste of time into a beneficial experience. They will share how to:

  • Get everyone engaged in the new performance management approach, from leadership to hiring manager
  • Reinforce core leadership skills to support the changes
  • Work though challenging situations--such as pockets of non-support--they faced during implementation
2:00-2:30 PM
Matthew Spence, Sr. Director Talent Development & Performance, Levi Strauss
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The debate around performance management seems to be focused solely on the question of “ratings or no ratings”.  At Levi Strauss & Co., we’ve spent a year looking both externally and internally:  studying the trends and research, benchmarking against other companies and talking to our own employees and leaders to find out what’s working, what’s not working and what we need to drive high performance and make talent and compensation decisions.  Ultimately we decided that the “ratings or no ratings” is a distraction for the true objective: performance acceleration.  In this session, you’ll learn:

  • Why we decided to stick with ratings (for now).
  • How Levi Strauss & Co. is focusing on capability-building to accelerate performance.
  • How we will begin to test new ways of assessing performance in 2017.