It's not just semantics LO6320

Dr. Scott J. Simmerman (
30 Mar 96 11:46:50 EST

Replying to LO6286 --

Responding to Gerry Randell's thoughts on It's not just semantics
LO6286, his focus was on the "empowering behavior of the manager:

> Is empowerment just asking people a high proportion of OPEN
>questions when talking/managing/leading them?
> Likewise is authoritarianism using a lot of LEADING questions?
>And is showing concern using Open questions followed by PROBES?

When I was teaching and writing about service quality, my focus was
always on the behaviors of the employee, in that case the customer
service delivery agent (retail, telephone, whatever). The "empowered
employee" seems to be the one who is most attuned to the Big Picture,
who behaves like they own the business and are focused on the attraction
and retention of customers (and often other employees).

These people, from a results standpoint, are the ones who often generate
the best overall results (ethically) and who you will get the most
positive responses about from customers.

These same people are aligned with visions and goals of long-term
profitability (often) as well as relationships.

The empowered employee is also the one who knows the "ropes" -- they
know who to call for help / approval and who NOT to call for help. They
are wont to bend / break the rules that get in the way of doing what's
right for the business and the customer.

The difficulty with this model of thinking and observation is that some
of the same behaviors are observed by the poor performers and the
disrupters who don't share the positive intention. Sometimes they go
overboard and make decisions that are a bit excessive. And they can
drive "control-oriented" managers and supervisors absolutely crazy.

But it is also from this group in which the major innovative service
improvement leaps arise. They seem to continually reinvent (or look for
ways to reinvent) the operations, policies, procedures, rules and
regulations to make things operate more efficiently and effectively.

What is WRONG with my model? Many things.

I cannot define and articulate all of the specific behaviors, measurable
results, and minute-by-minute behavioral (time and motion) kinds of
outcomes. But I know what I like, I can see, feel, smell and taste the
positive results from these empowered people, and they DO have a
powerful outcome on the business.

It's like Zen. Or good sex. You often know it when you got it.

For the Fun of It!


Scott Simmerman Performance Management Company, Taylors SC USA 29687-6624

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