Willingness to change LO5931

Dave Birren, MB-5, 608-267-2442 (BIRRED@dnr.state.wi.us)
Fri, 1 Mar 1996 09:52 CST

Replying to David Reed in Willingness To Change LO5914:

I wrote:

> In thinking about redesigning our work planning system, ... When we make
> judgments about priorities and try to drop the low-priority work, we're told
> we have to keep doing it.
> So why bother trying to change?

David replied with a description of what he called retentioning system
where work is prioritized and employees are rated according to their level
of performance. In times of reduced resources the lower priority work
would be cut and the poorer performers would be at risk. David said he's
looking for flaws in that system, and I'd like to offer a few. Please
note: this post is rated NAH (Non Ad Hominem - despite possible inferences
to the contrary, nothing personal is intended).

1. Rating scales went out with Deming.

2. Rating employees for their level of performance in a particular type
of work is likely to become competitive and result in their developmentatl
possibilities being overlooked or deliberately submerged.

3. Associating low priority work with poor performers will create a class
system faster than Aldous Huxley did in _Brave New World_. Everyone would
know what the low priority work is, and by obvious extension, who the
poorer performers are.

4. My least concern is with seniority. I'm concerned with the oppression
people in the middle and bottom would feel. With all respect to David, I
think this idea belongs in the trash heap. In its place, I would suggest
a program that prioritizes the work and provides employees with
opportunities for development within a relatively open system. I know
David included provisions for staff development, but I suspect that would
be overpowered by the hierarchical nature of the system.


David E. Birren Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources birred@dnr.state.wi.us Phone 608-267-2442 Fax 608-267-3579

* ** *** There is no excuse for being uncivilized. ( D.H.Birren) *** ** *

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