"The problem with organizations that have only adopted the bell curve — and not the rest of the integrated process — is that they end up forcing differentiation by the numbers. Managers start with the formula instead of performance. This formulaic approach reverses the basic assumption that all people have the capacity to achieve stretch performance and continue to grow and develop. Instead, focusing on the curve gives the demoralizing message that only a few people can be successful, and the rest will be average or less. And if managers expect their people to perform at average levels (or worse), they will. It’s a reverse Pygmalion Principle: People will perform downward to meet the lowered expectations. If they know that true performance and achievement will not make a difference in their ratings and their future, why bother? And for those that do want to really achieve and make a difference, they will look for an organization that is more like GE and will truly reward stretch performance."