Rating People and Jobs LO5977

jack hirschfeld (jack@his.com)
Mon, 4 Mar 1996 21:29:34 -0500

Replying to LO5948 --

Thanks, Bill, for the synthesis embodied in the work you have done in this
post. I share the "common sense" notion that the relative priority of
work can be known, but I am dubious that we live in a culture which
correctly evaluates the relative importance of work performed. There are
not too many people around where I work who would characterize sweeping
the debris off the workroom floor as "absolutely critical to the success
of the organization"; but it is.

When it's vital that a message reach each and every supervisor, the
formulation of the message (e.g., writing a memo) is valued much more
highly than its transmission (e.g., duplicating, sorting and
distributing); but aren't these tasks equally important?

In systems thinking seminars, we sometimes delight in stumping even CEOs
with the question, "If your company were an ocean liner, what one person
would have the greatest influence on your safe transoceanic passage?" [A.
The naval architect] This paean to systems design would be laughable to a
passenger on a vessel which sprung a leak because of some careless
riveting during construction.

Bill Hobler wrote:

>Replying to LO5914 -- was: Willingness To Change
>[Subject line changed by your host...]
>This is an attempt to weave three recent posts together and to add
>some personal assumptions and filters. Dave Birren started with.
>> 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?

>My opinion is that rating scales per se are not bad, in fact they are a
>natural part of a leaders tool kit. What is bad is what managers do with
>them. Note the change in terminology - leaders use ratings to grow their
>people, managers put people into boxes and don't help them get out.

>David Reed continued
>> o Work is broken into priority jobs ( work that is absolutely critical
>> to the success of the organization (1), work that is important but not
>> critical (2), work that is needed and helpful but, in tough times (budget
>> constraints) would not be as important as the others (3).
>This is I think a pragmatic business concept. What work is the lowest
>priority so that is needed we would stop doing it. At this point David
>Reed is not suggesting rating people.

Jack Hirschfeld        It seems we have met before, and lived before, and
jack@his.com           loved before, but who knows where or when?

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