No best practices, but some strong indicators

It’s been a busy week, mostly on-site with a new and exciting client project. I’m still trying to get a flight home (hopefully this evening) but at least I’m able to get out my weekly Friday’s Finds. Here’s what I learned via Twitter this week.


@jackvinson “I did blogging in my KM class a few years ago. “forced blogging” = flogging :-)”

@zenmoments “Freedom is not worth having if it does not involve the freedom to make mistakes. ~ Gandhi”

Performance Measurement “a Complete Waste of Time” – via @julienllanas

So, why do companies spend so much time and money on trying to come up with new rating systems and fancy pay for performance plans? Actually, I have no idea. I’m hoping someone out there can help me on that one. But, this week is a milestone week in my career – I’ve officially decided to do something about it – I’ve propsed to my executive team that we eliminate our performance rating system and ditch this whole pay for performance idea.

@stevedenning: Coordination: From hierarchical bureaucracy to dynamic linking via @RessHum

2. The team reports to the client, not the manager: The shift in the organization’s goal from producing goods and services to delighting clients means that the team effectively reports to the client, rather than the manager. The manager’s role is to give the team a clear line of sight to the client. Work is presented to the client or customer proxy at the end of the process of iterations, so that the team doing the work can experience the reaction. Progress is measured not by whether the boss is satisfied but rather whether value is delivered to clients. Instead of reliance on progress reports, progress is measured by only in terms of finished work—work that actually delivers value to clients at the end of a work cycle.

Un-Manage Your Employees by @DHH  Getting rid of distractions and co-managing so workers can get things done. – via @dhinchcliffe

When you hire people who do nothing but manage, you implicitly say to the rest of your employees, “Don’t worry about the coordination or structure of your work—all these concerns now belong to the manager.” When people don’t have to think about the totality of their work environment, because that’s now the manager’s job, they’re less engaged, less motivated and less efficient.

The Net Work of Leadership: Create the Space by @panklam

What he [Rangaswami] says is (and I agree) is that it makes no sense to give smart people tasks, but to “expose them to problem domains and then giving them the resources and tools to solve these problems.”  When a problem domain is large, it takes a network, more than just a team, and the vision of a leader who can create the spaces within which people will make the right choices about what tasks they must select to work toward the solution of the problem.

Going Social – Chief Learning Officer, Solutions for Enterprise Productivity via @fdomon

You may be saying to yourself: “Echols, this tale of hats and cattle is all well and good, but what’s the bottom line? I need best practices to convince my management.” Well, right now there are no best practices to emulate, but there are lots of experiments going on to define solutions. I repeat, these are experiments, and to succeed, your organization needs to have a culture of experimentation. Experiments produce failures most of the time. Acceptance of failure and disciplined learning from those failures is key because the winners in this arena will be the organizations that learn the fastest, and you can’t learn if you don’t try.

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