First up, thanks heaps guys. Your pod casts are extremely informative, inspiring and relevant. I usually listen to two or three each week in order to help cement ideas and stay familiar with the content. I've been listening to MT since attending my first management course September '07 and only wish I'd found you back in '05.
This post is really just to say thanks for the great work you did on the annual review process series. I have two direct reports and had done annual 'contribution' reviews for the last two years. I was never happy with the process, or the outcome. In our company it's very much as you describe, a box ticking exercise that is executed poorly. It's looked on by some quite cynically.
After listening to your pod casts I was inspired to change how I do reviews. With time to prepare I was able to repeatedly go over the process and construct a review process I was happy with. By the time word came down from our senior management that reviews must be completed before n date I was ready. With the confidence and enthusiasm I gained through listening to MT the whole process was really fun, I loved it. My manager did too. I was the first manager in the company to have both started and completed the review process for all my direct reports, and this reflected favourably on him.
Quarterly reviews are scheduled and everything is ticking along smoothly.