Employee Ranking Systems LO17284

Tom Christoffel (tjcdsgns@head.globalcom.net)
Thu, 5 Mar 1998 00:55:18 -0500

Replying to LO17263 --


Simple question? Point #2 says: I have "become" a strong believer in the
value of cooperation in the workplace.

This implies a change. What did you believe in before? What caused you to
change your mind?

In my post today - I suggested that cooperation and competition co-exist
internal to an organization and external. Thinking further, it is perhaps
the ratio that is different.

An ideal could be something like the Pareto Principle split
Internal to org: 80% cooperation/20% competition
External to org: 20% cooperation/80% competition

There is cooperation among competitors in the marketplace, there are
industry standards, lobbying for or against regulation, mutual support on
common issues, etc.

In a recent leadership workshop, the presenter said, "Everyone in an
organization needs to have some power."

This was a perspective I hadn't considered for my staff. Cooperation means
sharing knowledge, information, technique - the individual's power base.
It can be as difficult for individuals to share as it is for local

I favor cooperation, telling my people that in order to sell regional
cooperation we must demonstrate cooperation. Yet they compete for
resources, attention and personal advantage. So I must recognize that they
want personal power, yet get them to generate organizational power so we
can respond to the external competition, some of which says local
governments don't need to cooperate.

If competition among workers is normal, given the culture, then ranking
may provide boundaries for this natural competition between people in
organizations, so that the distribution of awards and advancement (power)
does not fall to personality or other superficial traits. It can be
objective. That is just what businesses seek in competitive bidding -
ranking based on known standards. So it can work external or internal to
manage potential conflict by having standards.

Relative to personal integrity, behavior in the world often doesn't match
our beliefs - and we might need to learn that it is true. Having a vision
that has integrity, but seeing it play out in the world differently does
not deny our vision. Process and progress toward the vision is measured

Systems are fine in the design, but the implementation is usually a
different story. Integrity in the implementation - that's the challenge.
Can we get learning and cooperation out of people that want to rank
themselves high and others low? In an organization, the ratio of
competition and cooperation may not be optimum, but it manages to sustain
itself and meet customer requirements - like the bumble bee that isn't
supposed to be able to fly. Hold the vision, but laugh with the paradoxes.


Thomas J. (Tom) Christoffel * e-mail: tjcdsgns@shentel.net
My mission: "Regions_Work!" 
Why?  "All markets are regional and the economy is global. Two or more
crossing boundaries to solve a problem is regional cooperation."
*TJCdesigns * Box 1444 * Front Royal, Virginia (VA) 22630-1444 * "True peace
is dynamic. For sustainability, design with re-use in mind." 

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