Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Grow or Die?

We’ve all heard of the Peter Principle (from the 1969 book), a satirical take on organizational effects: we promote people until they reach their level of incompetence. Actually this happens because many of us in leadership assume everyone else is like us—a little ambitious, appreciate challenge, want to get better, want some power/prestige/authority/responsibility. We install performance management systems through which everyone creates development plans. If someone is promoted beyond their capabilities, capacity or desire, and ask to be moved to a lower level, we don’t know how to deal with it. In fact, we often don’t allow it and insist that the person leave the organization.

But what if we could allow it, and graciously allow someone to step back into their previous role or another lower organizational-tier position? Wouldn’t the organization benefit by retaining their expertise, experience and relational capital? Instead, in the perspective of ‘grow or die’, we insist that something is wrong with ‘them’ and therefore, they’re no longer a fit with the company...when last year they were an exact fit with the company before the promotion.

And what if the organization doesn’t have higher positions for them to attain? What if the education system operated like a business and asked every excellent teacher to strive for more responsibility within the organization, leaving only the so-so teachers to actually get the work done of educating future generations?

I bet our organizations would thrive even more and we’d have a level of trust, and therefore a level of engagement that would be the envy of our competitors.

Now I realize I might suffer from Confirmation Bias—I only see the evidence that proves my theory and I’m not open to opposing theories that also fit the evidence—but test it out. Let’s see if we can reject the hypothesis with some data and conclude that maybe it’s better to dismiss the person we’ve wrongly promoted than to reassign them back into their productive position.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Job Creation

In one company, we had to document the addition of at least one job in order to retain some tax benefits from local and state governments through a program designed to stimulate job growth.  Honestly, whether we got the tax incentives or not, we would have added the jobs because we needed the manpower to handle growth. Tax incentives didn't stimulate job growth; demand did.

However, job creation is always a big message for presidential candidates.

ProPublica double-checked on the current President's promises. It's a cool graphic; check it out.

 3.3 million jobs have been added through 2Q18 and 3.7 million jobs through 3Q18. Job creation in the first 20 months of President Trump's tenure are comparable to job creation in the 20 months just prior to his administration, not tremendously greater.
Source: BLS

Real GDP growth is about the same as the previous 8 years--higher than 2016 but lower than 2014, 2015.