The posting is very insider, but if you work at any company of significant size you’ll probably know what he’s talking about. Most people hate the review system, at MS or wherever they work. One strategy for dealing with it is to ignore it as much as possible. I know people who take off whole weeks to work on their reviews. Stop it, folks! If you are doing poorly in your job, do you really think writing a great review is going to help? Or if you are totally rocking, and your boss doesn’t know it….well, time to find another boss.
As for the MS Values campaign, to my surprise I’ve found there is some fairly scientific backing for the concept. However, it has to be done right, starting with the top…example being the best mechanism. A few years ago there was an internal HR video with the memorable phrasing: “It is not enough to have integrity, you must also appear to have integrity”….
btw — The “Your Potential inspires us to Create software to help you reach it!” jingle I hear on NPR every morning…is downright embarrassing, the sheer awkwardness of the phrase undermines its already questionable sincerity.