When PM is put into action as taught and practiced, there will be noticeable changes in your staff.

Break the cycle of disciplinary action and employee resistance.


Improve communication between potentially adversarial parties.

Build relationships around substantial emotional intelligence.

Practice and developed mindful leadership.

Create shared purpose with all staff.

Have greater engagement and motivation with the process and/or end results. 


Often when managers and leaders believe it is time to bring out performance management (PM), it is when either staff have been performing poorly, it is something that ‘has to happen’ to be ticked off, or the staff member is about to get their first warning. In all of these examples, the potentially powerful action of PM is reduced to tick a box, a punishment or a warning. What has happened is a separation has occurred and trust has not been built. And in return, the staff member may reciprocate with  poor engagement, low productivity, and a lack of goal alignment in an organisation. It could be said that poor PM leads to decreased retention.

Rebooter Group’s Human Intelligence Programs goal is to improve the process of PM substantially to avoid these traps, and the use of Applied Improvisation (AIM) offers a new approach for Australian businesses. AIM principles based around active collaboration and the postponing of judgement until it is effective in the right place, transforms PM into a process of fostering a supportive and innovative work environment.

To avoid the “People don’t quit companies; they quit people” trap, AIM’s emphasis is instead on mindful leadership, positive reinforcement, openness to new solutions and building trust. This cultivates highly trained and motivated employees. As conversation shifts from deficits to achievements, positive treatment and future aspirations, dialogue becomes more constructive and forward-looking.

The challenge to leaders is to be fully present and engaged while postponing judgement. Putting the employees’ needs and aspirations will make the PM process far more dynamic as employees will feel more valued and understood. Therefore the success of each member is a collective goal is critical. This aligns with the concept of “plan what we do, do what we plan, but improvise with a bias toward improved system performance“.

Such a culture is ideal in Australia’s 2020s dynamic environment, where employees and leaders both need to be plan-following and instinctively responsive, sometimes at the same time. To get there confidently and on solid ground, Rebooter Group’s Human Intelligence Program on PM becomes a dynamic, adaptive process that not only enhances performance but also nurtures a culture of collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement. This holistic approach ensures organisations are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the modern business landscape, fostering a workforce that is both capable and inspired.

(Podcast Interview with Paul Z Jackson, President of the Applied Improvisation Network) We work in organizations on their performance management conversations. And they are traditionally locked into the deficit model: What did what did you do wrong last year? What did you achieve? What are your weaknesses that we can work on? etc.
And we switch that completely around – What did you achieve? How’s that going to serve? And what you want to achieve next year? What else would you like to do? And that could include getting better at things you weren’t very good at, as long as it matters, and it’s something that someone wants to work on.

Paul Z. Jackson (2020), ‘Molecules and Meanings: Different Rules Apply. Paul Z. Jackson’, Koppett’,


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