CHAPTER 19

The Two Types of Performance You Should Be Tracking

by Lindsay McGregor and Neel Doshi

Years ago Harvard Business School professor Ethan S. Bernstein studied assembly-line performance at a company he called “Precision.”

Based in Southern China, Precision was the second-largest manufacturer of cell phones in the world at the time. Precision made it easy for managers to oversee their employees. Every spot on every line was visible to managers. Every step of the process was measured, and real-time metrics were easily accessible. Workers were carefully trained to follow processes exactly as they were laid out.

But Bernstein and his team observed that when managers were not watching, employees secretly developed and shared better ways of ...

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