Rob Parson Performance Appraisal
Hello people, i hope your day is going great. I recently stumbled on this interesting case study by the harvard business school on Rob Parson. A high level summary and my personal recommendation would follow shortly. If you want to read the full case study, you can purchase it for about US$9 on HBR’s Website.
So enough talk, lets get down to the nitty gritty of the case study. Following the appointment of Paul Nasr as senior managing director in Capital Market Services (“CMS”) at Morgan Stanley, Nasr recruited Rob Parson to help develop his company, Morgan Stanley’s presence in the fixed income capital markets. Parson had a proven track record in financial services and Nasr felt that Parson had the type of energetic, entrepreneurial nature that Morgan Stanley needed to penetrate the sector. Although Rob Parson was initially skeptical about not fitting into Morgan Stanley’s profile for the job, he accepted the offer with the understanding that he would be on the fast track to Managing Director (his previous position at a smaller firm).
Rob Parson, a gifted banker with 10 years of experience had built strong relationships and reputation with the important players in the banking and insurance industries. Clients loved him and always looked forward to doing business with him as they felt he was one of the most amusing, entertaining and interesting people to be with. He however lacked team player spirit and interpersonal skills to relate successfully with his colleagues. Consequently, he was unable to integrate into Morgan Stanley’s integrity culture which encourages team work and respect for others.
Rob Parson had to pass the 360 degree performance evaluation process to secure his promotion to the position of Managing Director. The 360 degree performance evaluation was a platform through which all professionals in the firm were evaluated by superiors, colleagues and subordinates with the aim of providing every employee the opportunity to know how well they faired and advice on their potential areas for development.
Though the position that Parson was hired to fill had a reputation for being notoriously difficult to perform and had seen a tremendous amount of turnover at Morgan Stanley, Parson was a strong revenue producer and had generated a great deal of new business for the firm. He made things that otherwise would never have happened to happen. Unfortunately, Parson was sharp tongued, impatient and often difficult to work with. He created a hostile environment around him and his resultant negative performance evaluation has put Nasr, his boss in dilemma as to whether to put him up for promotion or not. The outcome of the decision is vital to the retention of Parson in the company.
After assessing this situation and the impact of promoting Parson on the culture and values of Morgan Stanley, I recommend deferment of his promotion till the cultures of Morgan Stanley can be fully inculcated in him through training and counseling for the following reasons:
a) If he is promoted, the main lever for performance evaluation becomes meaningless;
b) Prior to Rob Parson joining the CMS team, the team was characterized by a high turnover rate and serious under staffing. The problem is expected to continue if Rob Parson becomes a Managing Director, due to his lack of team player spirit and skills and his lack of respect for others;
c) Managing Directors are role models of standardized corporate behavior which all staff look up to; and
d) If Parson’s behavior is not checked and moderated, he would impact negatively on Morgan Stanley’s staff and ultimate performance.
To avert the possibility of Rob Parson leaving the company on the decline of his promotion, I advise his being given incentive in terms of bonus being an incremental percentage based on the number of business he brings in so as to keep him happy and inspired to work even harder pending the expiry of his probationary period or period of inculcating in him the culture and values of Morgan Stanley.