Re: Incentives LO1453
Wed, 31 May 1995 08:10:30 -0700

Replying to Ivan Blanco's LO1434 posting (which suggests an interesting
take on the whole concept of "incentives"):

Ivan, as I understood it, pointed out the apparently inherent
contradictions between the currently widespread notion of an employee as a
free agent and the notion of a learning *organization*. I think that the
reality of free-floating workers, whether we or they like it or not, will
not go away. The challenge for an organization is to capture the
individual learnings in such a way that they become embedded in the very
structure of the organization. At the least, this requires the right kind
of management focus (e.g., managers of learning in addition to -- or
perhaps even in place of -- managers of people); the right kinds of reward
and measurements systems; explicit articulation, constantly repeated, of
the organization's *purpose* (using Chris Bartlett and Sumantra Ghoshal's
term) so that appropriate individual learnings are identified, gathered,
massaged, and disseminated in ways that further that purpose. In short, I
believe that individualism can/should be allowed to thrive in a context
that in turn allows the individual contributions to coalesce. Collective
responsibility, as Ivan says, has to be catalyzed by the organization as a
whole, and by the carefully-honed processes that organization has put in

Ron Mallis
12 Chestnut Street
Boston, MA  02108