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Monday, February 14, 2005

Dave Pollard On The Self Management Process

Dave Pollard is at his best again - he writes about a specialist group called the the self management group known for its three stage turnkey recruitment process:
- a pre-screening for capabilities, by which candidates use an online SMG profiling questionnaire to acknowledge whether they do or do not have the essential competencies needed for the job,
- a structured interview to assess candidates' competencies and work-habits, and
- an unstructured interview to assess candidates' fit with the organization's culture and precise requirements of the position. Dave says behind this recruitment process, lay a complete model of alignment between individuals' and employing organizations' performance objectives, and a philosophy that espouses self-management as a means of optimizing, sustaining and improving that alignment.

This model appeals,in different ways, to both liberal and conservative worldviews of the relationship between employers and employees.
-To the liberal, this model allows each individual to take personal responsibility for managing their own life-long career and developing their own skills - abilities that are portable as employees move from company to company or create their own enterprise.
- To the conservative, this model allows employers to offload much of the responsibility for employee performance from management and corporate trainers to employees themselves, and also puts the onus on employees to optimize their attitude and energies, for the betterment of both themselves and their employees.

It's a very libertarian approach to professional development and personal productivity.The model says that people should be evaluated and rewarded on performance, not on results. Results are absolute outcomes that can be influenced by many uncontrollable factors and hence may have little to do with an employee's own efforts. By contrast, performance is success relative to potential, and is a process that is fully controllable by the individual and largely a function of effort.

The model is:
Performance =
Competency (i.e. Talent + Skills) x
Applied Effort (i.e. Commitment + Energy) x
Environment (i.e. Position Fit + Cultural Fit)

What you get done is a function of (
- (1) your natural talents and learned skills,
- (2) the focus and energy with which you apply those talents and skills, and
- (3) the amenability of the organization, both as a result of your position and the overall organizational culture (structure, style, systems, and modus operandi), to provide the opportunity for that effort to be effective.
(What you get done) = (What you have) x (What you do with it) x (Where and how you do it).
The self-management process is:
1. Set your own goals, performance objectives, and challenging but realistic expectations
2. Figure out what you need to do: Concrete, measurable, (self-)manageable steps
3. Make a personal commitment to do them, keep that commitment, and give yourself credit for keeping it
4. Evaluate your own performance (using the above formula) and its results
5. Reward yourself for high personal performance
(and ignore external, purely results-based rewards unless there is a sustained and pronounced disconnect between these external rewards and your self-assessed performance).
Dave concludes,"All of this is consistent with what Tom Peters called 'businessing' your own job, being the CEO and sole proprietor of your own enterprise offering services to your employer, and setting and following your own Business Plan."

Very interesting read indeed.
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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"