Performance measures and learning LO12124

Scott Simmerman (
Wed, 22 Jan 1997 11:59:54 -0500

Replying to LO12095 --

In reaction to Clyde Howell's posting in Performance measures and learning
LO12095 that focused on measures and performance, I couldn't agree more
(isn't that a quaint way of saying I agree?).

For me, it's true. And Clyde's other post's comments about balance would
certainly play a role in making progress over the long term.

With the image of the Square Wheels wagon being pushed and pulled with
round wheels as cargo, recognize that the goals and objectives of
performance are established BASED on the past and current operations
history of this vehicle.

And some things will naturally improve. The smoothness of the ride will
get a bit better over time because the corners of the Square Wheels will
get worn (although management may get a bit more edgy!). And workers will
develop better strategies for makin' time and stackin' cargo. With good
diet and rest, workers will get stronger. So some measures of performance
will improve a bit naturally.

The team will also meet its objectives for productivity, timelines,
quality and cost and can even improve a little each year. Another round
wheel in the wagon, stacked a bit better results in better measures and
less loss. If we don't give raises, we decrease costs.

Thus, the team CAN reach their goals and make incremental improvements
(step-by-step). Attention must be directed toward feet firmly on the
ground, eyes straight ahead, back straight (attention to safety, of
course). Heck, we can even hire an outside maintenance team to keep the
road in good shape! And if we build the new plant on the TOP of the

But until teams stop and step back from the wagon, the possibilities for
significant improvement and the opportunity to learn and actually
implement changes and innovations will not occur.

More and more, they will have less and less time to implement because
their performance objectives will get higher and higher, thus less and
less time for twaining and for "creative pause." Isn't that the way
things really wheely work?

"We just don't have time for this "Learning Organization" thing -- there's
wagons to pull and miles and miles and miles to go,"

For the FUN of It!

Scott J. Simmerman
Performance Management Company
3 Old Oak Drive
Taylors, SC 29687-6624 (USA) 864-292-8700


Scott Simmerman <>

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