Do a #RIGBY – A Different Performance Review

If you are watching Silicon Valley then you will know about #RIGBY. If you aren’t then you should watch Silicon Valley.

#RIGBY stands for ‘Richard is great, but y’ know’ and is a shorthand used by the characters for skipping the bit where we are nice about people before immediately criticising them.

‘I can’t fault their hard work but… ‘
‘They are an absolute expert, no doubt, but…’
‘They’ve got incredible experience and they really know their stuff, but… ‘

A conversation with @MJCarty (fresh from a 100th much smarter than this one blog) prompted me to think how much shorter performance reviews would be without needing the flannel.

The current trends in this area are to focus on forward looking development areas and strengths based approaches, but wouldn’t it be glorious to work in an environment where the great stuff was praised so much during the year that we could really be highly analytical of poor performance without the tension of the set up? As Simon Heath so wonderfully illustrated…


The Red Arrows apparently finish each display and basically do a #RIGBY. They start talking about what went wrong openly, candidly, clinically and with a focus on improvement. They #RIGBY.

They don’t start off the conversation ‘You are great at flying jets at high speed and not passing out at high G Forces, that almost goes without saying but.. ‘

There are a couple of things bouncing around in my head

1. It’s said that a positive ratio of praise to criticism is needed to keep people motivated. Does a #RIGBY count as praise? ‘Seriously, 5 #RIGBYS for that project, but what I wanted to talk to you about…’

2. Someone once told me that if you value people then you value their time. Would a #RIGBY be the ultimate sign of that?

Please note: this blog continues to be written with a mixture of curiosity and tongue in cheek. Please do not take this as an organisational Bible. This advice may ruin a company.


3 thoughts on “Do a #RIGBY – A Different Performance Review

    1. Hi Simon. Rising Damp was indeed a classic, although Reggie Perrin has a special place in my heart. I think we do struggle with RIGBY, but I also think we are more flexible culturally inside organisations that we give people credit for. Having worked for an organisation that had ‘store songs’ sung by the team (which I was told would never happen in the UK) I’m sure the flipside of that is possible too. Rigby


  1. As a trainer in this stuff, I thought it was great. I run public courses with no accountability for company sustainability so will be using Rigby to all my keen participants.
    Thanks David, although I, too, was disappointed that there was no reference to Rising Damp.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s