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Performance Evaluation Wins All-Star Treatment in Management Consultant’s Award-Winning Book

Properly evaluating performance can be challenging, but Dog Ear Publishing reviews a new award-winning book that offers new ways to think about and evaluate both individual and corporate performances.

Columbus, OH, June 22, 2016 --( A management consultant with more than 35 years of experience has hit a home run with his new book on employee and corporate evaluation. “The Strike Zone: Evaluating Individual and Corporate Performance” has won the Dog Ear Publishing Award of Literary Excellence. The book uses the analogy of baseball as a model to evaluate individual and corporate performance.

Author R. Mark Janacek said he was inspired to write the book after listening to the president of a privately held consulting firm air his frustrations with the process of correctly evaluating human performance. “It was clear to me that organizations have largely over-engineered what should be a simple and straightforward process,” he said.

Janacek continued, “Having observed the hand-wringing frustration of management with the performance evaluation system in scores of business settings over the course my career, it was also clear that evaluating performance should be as crisp and clear as calling: balls, strikes, and outs.”

Janacek said he’s most proud of the book’s simplicity and versatility. “It captured a set of business principles that, frankly, could be applied to any setting if there is the willingness to simplify rather than complicate the performance evaluation process,” he said. “We use the 20/70/10 model proffered by former GE CEO Jack Welch in his best-selling book 'Winning,' in companion with 'The Strike Zone' methodology.”

Based on “The Strike Zone” evaluation methodology, employees who are in the upper 20 percent are tagged as the “super-performers.”

“You know who they are; there’s no mystery about the fact that they do most of the heavy lifting where actual business results are concerned,” Janacek said. “The people at the other end of the spectrum who are in the bottom 10 percent are put on notice that unless they have a drastic and sudden uptick in performance, they are likely to be swept from the organization.”

Janacek noted that, “Managers in baseball constantly evaluate both team and individual performance. If you don’t ruthlessly evaluate individual performance, you fundamentally have no clue as to what the team is capable of from a performance perspective,” he said. “Evaluators, whether in baseball or business, need to determine: Do I have a superstar, an average performer or someone pulling us down?” He added, “'The Strike Zone' presents a simple but powerful model for performance improvement and is a must read for anyone in leadership.”

Dog Ear Publishing editor Leslie Wilhelm Hatch agreed, nominating “The Strike Zone” to the company’s editorial board for the excellence award. The editorial team’s recommendations are reviewed by the managing editor, editorial services manager and the publisher. Janacek said Hatch’s feedback showed the book was particularly well-written, the style was easy to follow and it captured aspects of the central theme very well. “I took a fundamentally boring subject and tried to make it interesting, using baseball as an analogous model.”

“In baseball,” Janacek said, “A pitch is thrown and it’s either ball, strike, foul or out – a clear and definable outcome with every pitch.” It leaves no ambiguity. “The message is clear: There should be no such thing as partial credit for a given performance outcome. It is what it is – period. In baseball, if we started awarding pitchers one-half of a strike or two-thirds of a ball, or one-fourth of a foul etc., the game would be in utter chaos. The inherent simplicity of measuring performance is why I chose the game of baseball as the analogy for the book.”

As he pointed out, “We now live in a world where we are reluctant to pick winners and losers and rank performers accordingly. This weak-willed management mentality creates a kind of work-culture ‘mush.’ Personally that is not where I’d like to be, and I suspect most of us aspire to better than that.”

A portion of proceeds from sales will go to charities related to The Ohio State University’s Julie Bonasera ALS Research Fund, which supports the scientific and clinical research of ALS at The OSU Department of Neurology, and the Stephen Gross ALS Fund in Columbus, Ohio, which supports the ongoing needs of Mr. Stephen Gross and family, personal friends of Janacek.

For additional information, please visit

The Strike Zone: Evaluating Individual and Corporate Performance
R. Mark Janacek
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-4265-7 170 pages $14.95 US Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4575-4608-2 170 pages $19.95 US Hardcover

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