Enlightened Darwin on Management -- The Natural Attraction, Selection, Compensation, Growth, and Retention of Talent
Every organization -- regardless of the industry in which it operates -- emphasizes the importance of recruiting, identifying, rewarding, training, and keeping talented people. However, these 5 important functions are neither done consistently nor done well. Why should new blood only be recruited from brand name universities, local colleges, or personal referrals? Why should the identification and compensation of talented employees sit solely in the hands of managers who may be influenced by personal biases not necessarily grounded in fact. Why force managers to complete annual performance reviews when they cannot find the time or desire to do so? Why should sycophants be promoted over hard-working employees who are better at delivering results than flattering their superiors? Why should employees be compensated in accordance to the archaic concept of grade levels as defined by the Human Resources Department? Why should salaries depend on people's ability or willingness to negotiate with their bosses? Why should employees risk being pigeon-holed into a specifc area of expertise if they wish to learn something completely different? Why should executives dictate the specific resources or resource levels for each approved project? Why should all employees work the traditional work week from 8 AM to 6 PM, with approximately three weeks of vacation?
Implement a revolutionary, transparent corporate environment that: (a) consists of only 3 levels, (b) remains fluid with self-selected project teams, (c) rewards those who truly deliver results with money and recognition, (d) eliminates the traditional performance review, (e) encourages cross-training/education, and (f) empowers employees to create the work-life balance most suitable for them.
2. Improved speed and quality of decisions. Unlike traditional corporate hierarchies where executives make decisions that adversely impact the effectiveness and efficiency of their subordinates, those who are actually doing the work shall determine the best course of action. The team that makes the decision(s) will bear the consequences (good or bad) because they will either succeed or fail at earning The Milestone Value that is at stake.
3. Significant reduction in corporate politics, pre-defined hierarchies, and sycophants. The ranking boards will clearly identify star performers and non-performers in real-time by showing the earned, year-to-date compensation of the competing teams and the individual team members. Since compensation is simplified to a two-tier base + deliverables by task or milestone, flexibility becomes a hallmark of the organization's culture and DNA. The reward structure is no longer tied to flattering the superior or keeping a seat warm until the annual performance review. A hardworking, nose-to-the-grindstone junior member of the team has the potential to earn the same or higher compensation as a senior member of the team. It is all about successful, quality delivery.
4. Increased personal autonomy and team spirit. Nobody needs to put in mandatory face time at the office if he/she is better off attending a child's soccer game or working from home. Each person chooses: (a) who they work with; (b) what they work on; (c) when they work; (d) how they work; (e) where they work; and (f) why they work.
5. Increased success of delivering projects within the given budget and time constraints. The "new management" are the leaders of the competing teams, and the competitive element naturally encourages speed and quality. If a team reaches the finish line first but fails on the quality, the team will not earn The Milestone Value. The Milestone Value is only awarded to the first team that delivers a quality product/service, as defined and accepted by The Committee (which is comprised of 3 individuals, each of whom have served and earned the #1 Team Leader position on the ranking boards).
2. Communicate broadly, frequently, and consistently for a period of 3 months prior to the massive transformation. This period of time allows for people to resign and seek employment elsewhere if they are not willing to try this new organizational model. Continue to communicate as the organizational transformation takes place.
3. Categorize existing personnel as either a "junior team member" or a "senior team member" to re-set the base salaries.
4. Select and staff The Committee. Have all competing teams register their members and designate The Team Leader. The Committee will need to take the business objectives of the company and translate them into achievable Project Milestones and assign The Milestone Values according to priority (which is a balance of time urgency and business importance). The Team Leaders will then take the Project Milestones as their objectives and specify the individual tasks that need to be completed within the time constraint. The Team Leader will need to assign The Task Values to attract members of the team to execute each of those tasks.
5. Develop simple yet effective ranking boards that will publish results in real-time and linked with the financial systems of the organization. After all, the ranking boards will be based on earned compensation year-to-date, which is only paid upon the successful completion of project milestones. The winning team of each project milestone will be awarded The Milestone Value, which is further broken down by The Task Values. Each contributing member of each competing team will have his/her name on the ranking boards. Any individual who continues to earn only his/her base salary would likely seek employment elsewhere. Any individual who continues to be an active contributor of high-performing teams will likely strive to become The Team Leader or a member of The Committee. It is therefore a system of natural selection in the corporate world.