You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Attributed to Henry Ford
In college, we are just winding down the school year. Our fiscal year ends in May. I spent the greater portion of the day on Wednesday submitting paperwork that demonstrated what I accomplished over the past year.
During each school year, I document presentations, articles, consulting projects, etc. and then, about this time each spring I submit a form that highlights what I have done over the course of the year for annual evaluations. It helps the administration see what I have done, but more importantly, it helps me track what I am doing and what I plan to do in the future.
As I review my activities, I ask myself if I should continue doing some things and I consider whether I should be doing more of other things. I see whether I have grown or marked time over the previous year. The experience is similar to the approach Tom Peters recommended in his book, The Tom Peters Seminar:Crazy Times Call for Crazy Organizations. He called it résumé-ing.
Résumé-ing is performance appraisal based on the growth of one’s résumé.
The basic premise is that what improves the individual’s Résuméshould also improve the organization. That is, you should be more valuable now than you were a year ago.
Of course, not all activities are equally weighted. My dissertation takes up a couple of lines on my Résumé as does my last presentation for the North Charleston Chamber of Commerce. The dissertation took three years and it was completed in 2003, but the presentation to the Chamber is important to this process because it is recent. The goal of résumé-ing is to capture what has been done in what areas over the last year or so.
Résumé-ing can help you measure individual growth, and individual growth should help administrators determine the individual’s contribution. This approach does not work for all businesses, but it is quite useful in white collar, service organizations. What you have added to your résumé over the last year should reflect your increased value to your organization.
In academia we look at teaching, training, publications, etc. But we also look at consulting, presentations, and community service. When my chair evaluates my performance next week, it should be clear that I am worth more this year than I was last year.
What About You?
Are you worth more now than you were last year? What are you doing to make yourself more valuable to your organization?