Game Changers

2016 Game Changer: Nate Thompson

The assistant VP of learning and development at OppenheimerFunds has developed a disruption-eliminating disruption.

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“I’m a catalyst, innovator and healthy disruptor,” writes Nate Thompson in the third sentence of his résumé.


The 39-year-old OppenheimerFunds executive helped change the culture at the investment banking company by implementing a performance management program that might better be called a disruption-eliminating disruption.

As Workforce has written time and time again, the annual performance review just won’t get the job done for retention and engagement, but the system Thompson helped put into place has done a much better job. According to Thompson’s application, employees now have four to 12 conversations per year with their managers, and both manager and employee get to add notes to an online system after each chitchat so there are no surprises.

Nate ThompsonIn her letter of recommendation, Christine Menard, OppenheimerFunds’ human resources relationship manager, said: “Nate builds trust, operates with intention, appropriately disrupts, invests in partnership and adeptly influences and empowers positive change.”

Translation: No need to pardon the “disruption.”

James Tehrani is Workforce’s managing editor. Follow Tehrani on Twitter at @WorkforceJames and like his blog on Facebook at “Whatever Works” blog.

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