Imagine you're a manager, ok, so far so good. You come into work and today you finally need to address a poor performer in your group. You don't feel completely comfortable, haven't received any support from HR, and are not looking forward to the conversation. But, what if you could practice that conversation in advance?
Most managers feel ill-equipped to handle performance-improvement conversations. This lack of confidence stems in part from a lack of opportunity to develop this skill, gain feedback, and improve.
I imagine a PMAI interface, where you can walk through a variety of conversations, including performance improvement. In the 1980s, this may have looked like a horrible managerial version of "choose your own performance management adventure". However, with current technology, it could be "gamed".
That is, a realistic virtual simulation (e.g., computer generated game environment) could allow managers to interact with different employee caricatures in different contexts. Reactions to various types of feedback could be determined by normalized national or global data (for cultural variance). Over time, calibrations could even be made to reflect organizational response norms or be customized to reflect various employees.
Managers could then e-learn their way through performance conversations through a computer simulation where realistic visual and auditory feedback can simulate an emotional interaction.
It wouldn't be a replacement for actual "live" experience, but it’s certainly an improvement over static tips or decision aids. Even a marginal improvement in helping what is estimated to be 15-30% of a work force could represent large productivity gains - not counting possible skill development and other benefits (e.g., employee engagement from successful employee-manager interactions and improved member interactions from smaller variances in performance).
The technology and skills already exist to make something like this a reality.