Role of Evaluation in LO LO9659

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
31 Aug 96 22:46:55 EDT

Replying to LO9627 --

Hal argues that

"if executives have difficulty measuring the effects of their actions it is
because the evaluation is poorly conceived, poorly executed, or poorly

Someone else said we need project management tools to make organizational
change. True at some point, but there is something else needed first.

Let me cite a specific example. We are struggling to integrate two ways of
operating a business. The functional organizational way, and the process way.
We recognize that the business is run through a cross-functional process.
However, we see a lot of value to the functional organizations, and do not want
to disband them. We want both. There are remarkably few organizations who have
done this. No model to follow. What should we do?

All we have is a concept, and we have tried a few experiments. We have learned
from the experiments, and we have not destroyed anything yet. On the other
hand, we have not made huge progress. We are starting a new round of
experiments, but we don't know wht will emerge from those. We have hopes, but
we have learned much that we did not intend to learn from prior experiments, so
we are humble.

So, to respond to Hal, the evaluation is poorly conceived because the actions
are not even conceived. We have a concept, but no action plan. The evaluation
will be great when this is a mature reformation. It will show us we are pretty
much on target, or it will identify where we need to shore up the organization.
However, the evaluation process will not be done until long after the
transformation, and pragmatically, it cannot be done until then, because we
don't really know exactly what we are looking for or what we need to evaluate.

Now, to take this thought to the next step, I would argue that a healthy
LO-style organization is ALWAYS in a state of reformation. Therefore, it is
always looking for next inch of competitive advantage, and the evaluation is
always lagging behind the development of that next step forward. The way I get
around this problem is I fall back on the few keys that I think will always
hold. Experiment, learn, train, share, delegate. These are what I evaluate.


Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc.

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