Willingness To Change LO5934

Virginia I. Shafer (vshafer@AZStarNet.com)
Fri, 1 Mar 1996 10:29:39 -0700

Replying to LO5914 --

David Reed gave us his thoughts on "retentioning" work and people where
jobs are prioritized 1,2,3, and people are catagorized 1,2,3 where 1 is
"most important." The number one jobs are assigned to number one people,
etc. He then states, "I am trying to find the flaws in this approach so I
would appreciate any comments."

What first comes to mind and has been proven over and over again--don't we
have a thread currently on it?--The Pygmalion Effect. By telling someone
they're my number three worker, I can elicit number three quality
performance! Conversely, if I give someone a number one priority project
(because they must be a number one performer) I expect to get that
person's personal best.

Are you familiar with how they used to catagorize school children the same
way? Those labeled "slow learners" sure enough didn't do as well on
standardized tests...as a matter of fact they were given very little to
work with because they wouldn't be learning much anyway.

The flaw in this approach, as I see it, is the serious potential to
completely demoralize the work force. I know you need to prioritize work
and if you're looking to RIF, you need to prioritize people. But what a
dangerous combination to set people up for failure by predetermining their


Ginger Shafer The Leadership Dimension "Bringing Leadership to Life" vshafer@azstarnet.com

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>