Individual Competence vs. Organizational Efficiency LO28853

From: chris macrae (
Date: 07/17/02

Replying to LO28850 --

Sorry to put the boot in, but in human system's terms I would find your
idea awful, or at least currently impossible to put into fair practice.

The main lurking problem with today's transparency/responsibity crisis is
that we don't have system good measures of performance - anyone who thinks
accounting numbers would be sufficient must have been on another planet
this last year, indeed one of the 3 ways that the Evil Empire of Enron was
established was through precisely the rule you suggested)

Secondly, please could we get back to cherishing the idea that if
organisations are to be worth anything it is to design ways in which
people produce what an individual alone cannot (a definition that eg
Drucker has included in almost every book of his I've read). Surely in an
age of knowledge, service, networking, it should be clear that there is
more value to be found in how well people and teams interact rather than
in any one person but again your proposed rule aborts that DNA from the
very nucleus of the organisational design. I'd go as far as saying that it
seems to me to be the very antithesis of what I'd always hoped system's
theory of learning organisation revolves round

chris macrae

----- Original Message -----
>From: "Benjamin Compton" <>

> ... Just before I unsubscribed, I had a number of
> conversations with those on the list about how to reward the best
> performers. I was in favor of a formal ranking system, where people were
> grouped in thirds based on their performance. The top third was to be
> given the highest pay raises/bonuses, the middle third was reward but less
> generously, and the bottom third was told they'd better not be in the same
> position at the next evaluation or they'd be asked to leave.
> My idea wasn't particularly popular on the list, nor has it been
> particularly popular when I've explained it to those I work with.
> Nonetheless I've held that it is the best way to create a very efficient,
> dynamic, competitive organization. Central to this conviction is the fact
> that I believe individual competence is the basic ingredient to an
> organizations success.
> Given that fact that so many people have pushed back at my idea, I've been
> careful to look for reasons why my thinking is flawed -- essentially,
> reasons I believe my thinking is flawed. I couldn't find one, until today.
> And I thought I'd share it with this list.
> Today, a friend sent me this article in e-mail:
> As I read it, I found myself agreeing with the first part, stunned by the
> middle, and finally accepting the article as the best explanation of why
> my thinking is flawed that I've come across. In fact, it has convinced me
> to think through my beliefs on this matter even more carefully. I may even
> change my mind, but that's a big step so I'm not committed to it.


"chris macrae" <>

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