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The record is not the event

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At the weekend, it was my daughters birthday. We had a small party for her friends at home, and a good time was had by all. However, I realised that maybe I'm a bit behind the times, or maybe I hadn't realised how old the girls were getting, but this year there was a significant difference to last year... smart phones, ipods and tablets.

Instead of watching my daughter open her presents, her friends filmed her. Instead of having fun, they took 'selfies' of themselves having fun. I suggested a game, and promptly two of the girls disappeared to get their devices to record the whole thing.

The same week I saw a short film via Facebook that highlights how much we are missing out on real life because we are all so busy 'connecting' with people that we aren't with (rather than those we are).

I'm a fan of social media. I'm glad that we are able to record key moments in our lives in a way that our parents couldn't, but I it all going a bit far?

Not just in terms of socail media, but generally...and especially at work. In many organisations Performance Management seems to be far more about the record/paperwork than the actual practice and conversation. Even training is often about putting a tick in box to prove its been done, rather than looking at what effect the training has had. The record appears to be more important than the event.

Great days in our lives are often quite spontaneous. Maybe the only 'record' we have is the memory that makes us smile and feel warm inside. Good performance management is also spontaneous. It happens as and when it is necessary. It often isn't recorded formally, but the effects can be seen in the long term. Likewise with training: Often short, sharp bursts of just-in-time training and coaching (that aren't mandatory, or part of a complex programme) can make the biggest difference.

This year, focus on the EVENT not the record. Prioritise the ACTIVITY not the paperwork. Develop people as you go and then look back and see how far you've come.

the present

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