The Unlearning Organization LO9920

Ken Taylor (
Thu, 12 Sep 1996 11:18:22 -0700

Replying to LO9765 --

John Constantine is right when he talks of cravings for "rewards" or
"status change" as drivers of people's attitudes towards their
organisations. What we need to ask ourselves is why this should be.
Surely it is because these are the very drivers that we (and our
predecessors as managers) have encouraged over the years. How many
organisations can claim that their reward structure is based on
contribution to the business goals and ignores traditional definitions of
seniority like the number of staff "managed"? How many organisations can
claim that the prestige facilities available like private offices,
secretaries etc are allocated on a basis of best need for the business
rather than as a reward for seniority?

iT is the Information Technology provider for the Post Offcie and is
relatively small with around 1100 staff. We have been tackling these
issues over the last 3 years, breaking down old line management structures
by establishing Skills groups, taking away old fashioned status symbols
like private offices, restructuring our pay and grading system, and
generally trying to demonstrate that reward goes to those who contribute
to the company's goals rather than those who are defined as "senior" for
some archaic reason. What we have learnt, and the point of this message,
is that it is management's job to establish the right drivers in line with
the organisational culture and then to lead by example. It is no good
just moaning about the fact that the staff don't seem to understand "our
problems", or that they seem to be motivated by the wrong drivers.

Karl Marx may have got a lot of things wrong but he was absolutely right
when he said: "Man (sic, he lived in an age before gender was a political
issue) responds to his environment"


Ken Taylor
People and Resources Director
iT, The Post Office


Ken Taylor <>

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