Judgment, Evaluation, Feedback, etc. LO10046

Kerr, Donald (Donald.Kerr@alliedsignal.com)
Wed, 18 Sep 1996 14:08:00 -0700

Replying to LO9868 --

I appreciate all of your "feedback" on my questions. I chose to wait and
respond to them as a whole because I was interested in the flow of meaning
running through this thread. I'll repeat the questions briefly and then
start answering some of your questions and comments. I'd like this thread
to continue.

1) What is the difference between "evaluation" and "feedback?"
2) How is "evaluation" similar to/different than "Judgment.?"
3) How are these terms related to "ranking," "grading in school," and
even "Salary Grading and promotion?"
4) Are all these terms, including exclusive hierarchy, products of a
competitive system based on artificial scarcity?
5) If one speaks out against performance appraisals, ranking, pay for
performance, etc., how can one not also come out against salary grades
and promotion within an exclusive hierarchy?
6) How does the message "Judge not!" in the Christian Bible relate to
one's judgment of someone else's performance and worth to an
Is it strictly a spiritual principle or is it a call to transformation
of social organization?

In this post I will respond to the following questions:

Thomas said:
>I haven't a clue as to why Donald has asked the above questions. Glad to
>know someone is bothered about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of
>Performance Appraisal as I am. Maybe Donald will come out with systems
>that minimise the judgemental outcomes of evaluation,feedback etc.

John said:
>I have the same feeling Thomas had in reflecting on
>Donald's motivation...where is it coming from?

Keith said:
>At this stage, I see a political agenda unfolding or perhaps an academic
>dialog which I "judge" as not appropriate for further dialog by me.

So why did I ask these questions?

Where did the questions come from? Not an easy answer...but I'll try...it
may take some time so I'll address some of your other comments in later

My motive was intrinsic curiosity to learn on the frontier of science and
spirituality. Not from a political or religious agenda, although my mental
model includes assumptions and beliefs that are influenced by them. I
wouldn't call it strictly academic dialogue either. To be honest, I'm not
sure where it comes from and why! I just have this incredible passion to
seek to design socio-organizational systems where the alienation
associated with judgment, evaluation, appraisals, ranking, classifying,
putting people into slots, and "false feedback" are minimized, if not
eliminated. In Renewing American Civilization, Newt Gingrich commented
that without judgment you could not have civilization. To me that says
you cannot have a civilization without alienation. David Steindl-Rast,
defines "sin" as alienation and "salvation" as belongingness. And Love is
saying yes to belonging. How then can I promote unity and belongingness
in a civilization where its existence depends on alienation? Does it
require two co-existing "civilizations" one social-scientific dimension
and the other spiritual dimension?

Thomas seems to agree when he said:
>I think judgment in the Bible and Performance Appraisals are not related.
>Performance Appraisals are Ceazers ways of dealing with people in his
>kingdom. If Ceazer wants to judge,he has a right to judge in the way he
>wants to judge!

If I render only unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's, and render only unto
God that which is God's, I feel trapped between two worlds, dimensions, or
kingdoms. There are Kingdoms of this "world" and then there is the
Kingdom of God. I'm troubled with how the church keeps waiting for the
Kingdom of God to come in the "end times" and praying for the souls of the
nation...and society goes on and on unchanged. I want to be more
proactive, seeing myself as the source of my own problems, asking how can
we create organizations that promotes the unity, love, acceptance,
forgiveness of the Kingdom of God mental model in the "worldly" Kingdom's
of business,government, and education where an alienation mental model is
their foundation for existence? How do we accomplish this metanoia
without being nailed to a cross in the process?

Here I have to turn to Yoder, in the book The Politics of Jesus. [whoever
gave me this reference on the LO...please tell me so I can thank you
personally] While surfing on the frontier of science and spirituality,
this book is currently helping me unite the two kingdoms.

The following are related excerpts from Yoder:

Jesus did not say you can have your politics and I shall do something else
more important. He said your definition of polis, of the social, of the
wholeness of being human socially, is perverted...Yoder

The Kingdom of God is a social order. It is not a universal catastrophe
independent of the will of human beings. It is proclaimed right now,
opening up real accessibility of a new order, which people have only to

Some conservative religious groups would say the gospel deals with
personal ethics and not with social structures. The only way to change
structures is to change the heart of an individual, preferably, the one in
power, and then see that he/she exercises control of society with more
humility or discernment or according to better standards. What needs to
be seen is that the primary social structure through which the gospel
works to change other structures is that of the Christian community...we
are called to contribute to the creation of structures more worthy of
human society...Yoder

The concrete social meaning of the cross is servanthood replaces dominion,
forgiveness absorbs hostility. The believer's cross is no longer any and
every kind of suffering, sickness, or tension, the bearing of which is
demanded. The believer's cross must be like his Lord's, the price of his
social nonconformity. It is not an inward wrestling of the sensitive soul
with self and sin, it is the social reality of representing in an
unwilling world the order to come...Yoder

Jesus said, "Be ye perfect as your father in heaven is perfect." This has
traditionally been viewed as something not attainable until the end times.
Yoder says the word "perfect", means unconditional or indiscriminate,
making it attainable here and now.

I said all that to say this:

I believe, my calling as a human being is to contribute to the creation of
structures more worthy of human society, where servanthood replaces
dominion, forgiveness absorbs hostility, unconditional love, acceptance,
and forgiveness replaces judgement, belongingness replaces alienation and
fragmentation, cooperation replaces competition, and self-control and
dialogue replaces reactiveness, and opportunity replaces artificial

I'm bothered with how the performance appraisal structure (and others)
influences behaviors and create artificial scarcity. I'm also bothered
why one child gets into the "gifted and talented program" and others
don't. Is there a scarcity of gifted and talented students? Do we not
all have an abundance of different gifts and talents? Why the alienation?

Deming's Red Bead experiment, Senge's Beer Game, etc. show that structure
influences behavior. Deming says 4% can be attributed to the individual,
96% to the structure. Many of the existing organizational structures
(judgment, evaluation, unsolicited feedback, false feedback, performance
appraisals, grades in school, salary grades, classifications, exclusive
hierarchy, rating, ranking, etc.) all influence fragmentation,
competition, reactiveness...that is alienation.

again, Thomas said:
>I haven't a clue as to why Donald has asked the above questions. Glad to
>know someone is bothered about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of
>Performance Appraisal as I am. Maybe Donald will come out with systems
>that minimise the judgemental outcomes of evaluation,feedback etc.

You can count on it...if it is not just me, but us all. All of you have
influenced me greatly in your writings. Even when I come up with my
solutions, I will never be able to separate you all from them. How then
can I separate my individual performance from the influence of the LO

Well, I appreciate your time. What you read here is being develop on the
fly, so please send "feedback"...but don't hide some "judgement" in
there...OK? I loved all your inputs to my questions, I'll talk to you
soon about them. Thanks!

Have a Great Adventure!
Don Kerr


"Kerr, Donald" <Donald.Kerr@alliedsignal.com>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>