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Thanks, Ann, for a timeless reminder to think about the meaning of "compensation," "rewards" and "life." Nice, when they can all come together.

I like this and assume you agree with it Ann? Somewhere in the 'work formula' many employers came to believe that they need to 'meddle' with how people use their time. And they assumed that if they provide people with more time with their family and friends that this is a 'good thing'. Not considering the issue of individual choice. I agree that the entire idea of 'work-life' as it has been called is 'dead' or certainly should be. However, many in our profession, and those who sell things to organizations, are 'vested' in the idea that organizations should balance 'life' for folks.

At the last WorldatWork conference Pat Zingheim and I presented part of our studies of what CEOs want from our profession. At the end of the session someone came up and said to me, "You don't value my profession as VP of Work-Life Balance do you?". I will not report my response here but this individual was clearly angry that someone had actually gathered some data on the popularity of her profession with CEOs who run organizations. And she did not like the results . . . so I am sure we will soon see another 'study' that throws out a lifeline to 'work-life balance'.

Oh c’mon. Unless and until we can impose the template of Huxley’s Brave New World on society, there will be any number of less-than-wonderful jobs/roles that need to be competently performed by people who cannot possibly find fulfillment in their work. What do you have to offer them?

Choice! The opportunity to 'custom design' whatever 'work' turns you on and subsequently see what your journey through life generates in terms of the rewards you value. I just don't think a 'Vice President of Anything' should be the one that provides you with your internal life compass. If you are a 'fan' of Huxley I can guess what you might provide!!

Jim, Jay and Tony-

Thanks for the comments. I think the life exchange rate concept has a lot of potential application as we strive to understand the context and the dynamics in which rewards (esp cash compensation plans) operate. I can think of several client situations where this would have been a helpful heuristic. And I do think it provides another framework with which to examine how we can make rewards (to the extent possible)a win-win proposition.

Not Huxley-ish at all, to my mind. Perhaps a little Pollyannah-ish on my part, but it wouldn't be the first time I crossed that line.

Jay, I thought a lot about something you and Pat have written about - the "high performing best place to work" as I was writing this, too ... particularly in regard to the "virtuous reward circle".

Appreciate hearing all your thoughts and takes on this!

Ann, YOU are the BEST at this I have EVER seen.

But we need more 'controversy' here. I am absolutely certain that your readers represent a wide range of attitudes and opinions we have yet to benefit from. Let's not fall into the 'vanilla route' our professional associations follow that while 'smooth and easy' to present represent little or no learning opportunities for anyone.

Keep up the good work, Ann and your cadre of indentured contributors. We need your 'stuff'.


LOL - indentured contributors! I guess its certainly true that they aren't paid very well....

Agree that we all benefit from getting a wide range of attitudes and opinions on the table. I once heard a statistic that 95% or so of blog readers are lurkers - reading but never commenting. I think that's true here as well - I think we hear only from a minority of readers. Not sure how to change that. Would welcome any thoughts and tips.

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