Individual Performance Appraisals, Just Say No!

At the team level, what matters is the speed of the entire team. A single “superstar” tends to slow down the team because people end up waiting for that person to finish critical work before they can move forward with their own. The “superstar” is a bottleneck who slows the entire system because the speed of the system cannot exceed the speed of the bottleneck.

If someone on the team is more talented than anyone else, the best use of their time by far is for them to help the rest of the team improve by mentoring and teaching. If you reward the entire team rather than individuals, you’re motivating the “top performers” to make the entire team get better. If you don’t do that, you set up a competitive environment where the “top performer” won’t delegate important work because they won’t be a superhero anymore.