face2face

Treat people like dogs, part 2

In this week's MeetingsNet Extra e-newsletter, I posed a question that may sound ridiculous: Why can't we treat people like dogs? By this I meant we wouldn't ask a terrier to race like a greyhound, so why do we ask excellent logicians to become strategic planners, instead of rewarding them only if they move "up" on the org. chart (for the full argument, read the item--I said it a lot more eloquently there!).

Anyway, I got an e-mail from a reader in response that made my day: In her organization, a few years ago some experienced people hit the top of the ladder for their position and the only promotion possible was into management. They were not so inclined, so the organization created a "senior senior" level, where candidates had to meet certain criteria and give a presentation to management to get the promotion without moving into management. What a great idea! As she wrote: "Who was it that said 'people rise to their level of incompetence and stay there' (or something like that)? This helps prevent that, hopefully!"

Any other success stories out there? I'd love to hear them!

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