I believe that forced distribution of people not only obstructs achievement of collaboration and of the organizations's goals, but it is demeaning to your people. However, this is how many companies still choose to measure their people.
As such, a couple of years ago, I was sitting in a room of managers during a calibration meeting. An employee who was hard working, accurate and consistently went above and beyond was being discussed. This employee's manager said she should be rated a 1 (on a scale from 1 to 4 where 1 is best). A skip level manager said that she should be rated a 2 because: she was rated 1 the prior year, the standard for her should be higher, and she had been in that role for a while.
When we allow these types of people measurements to reign, we create environments that demean, discourage and incubates unhealthy alliances. When work becomes about survival, trust is eroded, and the best that people can do make take a back seat.