>I am now to this learning organization group.
Welcome to L-O! I've only been here a short time myself, but I've been
lurking with considerable interest. Your posting pulled me out of the
woodwork, since it touches a couple of points I've been mulling over myself.
>Our organization, a
>non-profit of 170 people, launched in a journey early in 1994 to
>becomg a learning organization. We have changed our structure and
>our culture -- and are organized around entrepreneurial
>cross-functional teams. We have very open communications with
>networked e-mail and no closed administrative meetings. We
>transformed to a fundamentally new purpose and mission to define our
>focus and role in partnering with 4-H, a pubic youth development
>program that is part of the Cooperative Extension System in this
Sounds like you've made great strides! My question is, can a group *become*
a learning organization? Or, to really *be* a learning organization do you
flat have to declare you *are* one...then act from that declaration? In
many ways, it sounds to me like you've done that.
In other words, you declared...early in '94...that your group *was* a
learning organization, and then you looked around and said, "Now what?
What's missing? What do we need to change, now that we *are* a L-O?" And
then you went into action. This strikes me as the powerful way to *be*
truly learning. Were you conscious of that...or has it been a struggle to
> We now find ourselves needing to develop a transformed system for
>dealing with performance management and rewarding associates for
>achieving team and organizational goals. The old approach of annual
>goal-setting and performance appraisal just no longer works -- and
>lack of a transformed system is making our most visionary and
>transformed associates very impatient.
> Any suggestions out there on this first day of 1995?
Performance evaluations have bothered me for years. A refreshing, recent
discovery, however, is Tom Peter's comments in his book, "The Tom Peters
Seminar," Chapter 4. To quote briefly, he suggests, "resume-ing," vice MBO
style evals: "If you're a boss, have all your employees...update their
resumes on a quarterly basis. A prelude to layoffs? An invitation to
disloyalty? To the contrary. If their resumes get noticeably better every
90 days (new skills, satisfied customers willing to offer testimonials,
completed professional-service-delivery projects), then the employees'
current job security will have risen while simultaneously the outfit the
boss runs will have delivered demonstrable value to its clients, internal
and/or external. Workers will have won. The boss will have won. The
company will have won. Not bad." Peters goes on to examine how it might
replace performance evals as we know them.
Again, welcome, and I hope this gives you another place to explore.