Rate your Talent Thinking Revealed

1. Management is built on…

a) Hierarchy and division of labour
b) Standardisation of method
c) Planning outcomes
d) Motivation by money
e) All of the above
f) None of the above

Commentary

According to Professor Gary Hamel, author of the Future of Management, existing models of management are based on the pillars of hierarchy of control and division of labour, standardisation of method, planning of outcomes and motivation by money. These pillars do not allow individuals to think for themselves and kill innovation.

2. The message to employees is…

a) Do as you are told.
b) Conform to group think
c) Management is smarter than you
d) Suck up to the boss
e) All of the above
f) None of the above

Commentary

The Worksucks (Re)Search consistently brings up these unspoken messages to employees about the way we really work around here, a sharp deviation from the official organisational speak. While the Baby Boomers are die hard followers of this message, Generation X is torn by the conflict and Generation Y won’t have any of it. 

3. We must do what we have always done….

a) Period. Uphold tradition
b) Better
c) Until it breaks
d) It brings the money
e) All of the above
f) None of the above

Commentary

Good luck. Your organisation will need it to survive, as business models are shattered, unknown start ups shake up your industry and your customers demand a better deal. Did I mention China and India breathing down your neck? 

4. People are the most important…

a) Asset
b)   Liability
c) Cost
d) Problem
e) All of the above
f) None of the above

Commentary

The tired cliché is that people are the most important asset (a) and management treats them as a liability (b) and accounts for them as a long list of employment costs (c) in the financial statements. Some blame the organisational woes on people (d).  In Smart Reward Strategies – Authentically Attract and Retain Talent, I contend that the organisation leases the most important assets from people. Every employee leases their talents to the organisation using their accumulated human and social capital.

5. Performance management means…

a) An annual ritual / farce
b) Keep your boss happy. Your career depends on it
c) Identification of weakness and areas for development
d) Inflationary pay increase
e) All of the above
f) None of the above

Commentary

Performance management has noble intentions – assess individual performance/behaviours over a particular time period/project for application in pay, career, developmental and other business decisions. It falls down in practice. Be honest, in your organisation, has performance management become a painful ritual, shaded by the relationship with the boss? The focus on weakness and developmental areas is outdated – refer to the work of Marcus Buckingham around the strengths revolution.

6. Recognition is…

a) Stars
b) Awards
c) Cash
d) Gifts
e) All of the above
f) None of the above

Commentary

Giving stars, awards, cash and gifts is easy. It is tangible and visible. But it is not necessarily recognition. Recognition misses the mark when it is devoid of meaning as defined by the recipient, not the organisation.

7. The social networks blocked are..

a) Facebook
b) My Space
c) Linkedin
d) You Tube
e) All of the above
f) None of the above

Commentary

Social networking is here – love or curse it, this movement is not going away simply because your organisation has blocked employee access. Management in 2020 will ask, “What were you thinking?” (P.S Connect with me on Linkedin or Facebook)

8. Employees are paid for…

a) Time on the job
b) Work done
c) “Performance”
d) Something
e) All of the above
f) None of the above

Commentary

Unfortunately many SA organisations will continue paying for clocking time, work done and “performance” for another decade. Here is a wildcard: what if employees were paid for the value, they created for the organisation?

9. Management wants employees to feel…

a) Safe and secure
b) Scared
c) Tenure counts
d) Loyalty counts
e) All of the above
f) None of the above

Commentary

The psychological contract of the Industrial Age revolved around security of livelihood, fear of authority, value of tenure and loyalty. Exit here.  Create a new contract this year around your business and the Information Age.

10. HR are…

a) Personnel Administrators
b) Human Restrictions
c) Organisational spies
d) Idealists
e) All of the above
f) None of the above

Commentary

So what is HR? E-mail me your comments at worksuck@worksucks.co.za and I will publish a sample of them in an upcoming Rattling the Cage column.

(HR Future, January 2008)

Summary

For every question, the best response is f), the worst response is e) and the mediocre Industrial Age responses are a) to d).

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