Will Sr. Managers Change? LO7180

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
04 May 96 12:55:44 EDT

Replying to LO7150 --

David says,

"The system is broke. I know it, you know it, they [sr. mgmt] know it.
Now, how do we fix it?"

To which Ginger responds,

"I believe the leverage point is in the perfromance measures and reward
system which, as you mentioned, has not changed. To me, that was/is what
the TOTAL in TQM stood for--look at the organization's underlying
assumptions (observable as performance measurement) and see what behavior
is elicited as a result. As Ely Goldratt wrote in _The Haystack
Syndrome_: Tell me how you'll measure me and I'll tell you how I'll
behave. If you measure me in an illogical way, don't complain about
illogical behavior.""
--end of quotes--

I would tend to argue -- with all these qualifiers, I am expressing my
lack of certainty -- that at the broadest, highest levels, the measures we
have are not too bad. The issue is rather one of how do we achieve those
goals. What is the new paradigm for success.

In my own experience, for example, success at achieving my goals increased
when I changed the road to success from one of 'functional leader' to one
of process champion. My success was pre-ordained before my part of the
process even started by the quality and timeliness of effort that other
departments put into the process before I took over. If their job was
half done, or done late, then I was doomed. As a consequence, some
priorities changed when it was realized that 'unimportant' tasks had large
down-stream effects, but the goals -- especially the large-scale,
strategic goals -- did not change. We just got very good at finally
achieving them.

Let me hasten to add that we have not reorganized into process-oriented
teams. We have recognized that there is great value in functional
specialization and -- simultaneously -- in process management. The
problem we tend to have as a society, I think, is that we have good goals,
but we have only one model for working, and that is by and large as
functional specialists.

If I apply that thinking to the whole society, I end up wanting an
alternative approach to our challenges in which government, business,
community, and education, all continue to play their functional roles, but
simultaneously recognize their interdependence and their ability to help
each other achieve mutually valuable goals. This feels like a very
powerful approach.

This is -- I think -- similar to the concept Bill Hobler was suggesting
when he was describing his "whole system". Or at least this is what i
drew from it.


Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc. 76234.3636@compuserve.com

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