A Focus on Results? Fancy That

I can’t really conceive of a results-only work environment. This sounds like a fixed-bid, sub-contractor kind of gig, where expectations are easily spelled out, and results easily evaluated. (And evaluation of the results seems like the real challenge.)

This hasn’t held Best Buy back from taking the plunge. In a Workforce Management article “Throwing out the Rules of Work”, Patrick Kiger gives readers a new view of how a publicly traded company can overhaul the “balance” that never seems equitable. When employers and employees move beyond the classic (and thankless) dance we’ve been doing for years, you get Results-Only Work Environment – ROWE.

The geniuses behind making ROWE work have now spun out as ResultsRx, a Minneapolis-based consultancy. Consultants Ressler and Thompson have clearly struck on that magic mix of excitement and motivation that resonates employees and employer alike.

This kind of change is staggering.

When I think about the common dialogues in business on the topics of accountability and results, most discussions still center on the work that leads to the deliverable or decision, not on the end result. (Uh hello – haven’t we all heard “begin with the end in mind” by now? Habit 2, thank you.) We’ve been dialed into the sad dance for so long, that it is almost inconceivable that high quality results can come from anythign but endless hours sloggging in the cube.

Ew. Not just a stale notion, but getting moldy.

The basic proposition that we as individuals can exchange the delivery of results for compensation (instead of time for money) brings us full circle through the age of Ford’s assembly line and back to the world of artisans. While I don’t have a cobbler’s bench set up at home, I do have the 21st century equivalent.

When business can place a value on the results, and not just the hours of slogging in the trenches, the nature of the relationship changes. Not only do I as employee feel valued, but I as manager can begin holding people to delivery timelines and meaningful results, not just near-misses on or about the due date. No more time down the toilet in useless meetings. No more ‘analysis-paralysis’ without actionable conclusions.

I’m taken by the idea of ROWE, if only because it offers the hope of being a consultative resource within my company, valued for delivery and respected enough to be given autonomy with my time.

If you’ve developed/ envisioned/ lived a better alternative, I’d love to hear about it.

This entry was posted in Autonomy, Employment, Habit 2, Value, Work-life balance. Bookmark the permalink.

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