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Good story, Chris. You nicely covered a lot of critical issues frequently confronted in compensation. Without bogging us down in enterprise-specific minutia, you identified many eternal truths we are supposed to be addressing with reward systems.

Good leaders are force multipliers for positive improvement, willing to experiment and to leverage the talents of their subordinates. Bad bosses deny the existence of big problems and stifle ideas that don't meet their preconceptions or personal preferences. The apt "wicked" parallel also reflects the need for imagination like Bradbury's to seek solutions outside our self-imposed boundaries.

Those are some of the ideas that seemed to ooze out from under your tent flaps for me.

A colorful and almost animated metaphor, regarding "oozing ideas" from under the tent flaps. Now I won't be able to sleep tonight . . . thanks a lot.

I was at a human resources conference today, and someone who saw the article today - reminded me that the introductory tagline, "Something Wicked This Way Comes", is actually taken from a line from Shakespeare's MacBeth. Who knew?

In a way this makes perfect sense...Ray Bradbury's day job was as a personnel specialist in local government.

Chris, to what extent do you feel that your organization's cultural predisposition to the analysis of quantitative data played a role? There are many organizations whose leaders eschew metrics in favor of intuition (or, in some cases, just plain old inertia). Many 'bad' problems just disappear in a sort of human resources legerdemain when you simply don't collect, analyze, or report the right metrics.

First off, I have to openly acknowledge the fact that I had to look-up the definition of legerdemain. That said, I wish I had a nickel for everytime I've heard that word used, since I got out of high school - because quite obviously I would "ahead" a whole five cents, as of yesterday.

Speculation might suggest that our cultural tendency toward analysis had not helped us a whole lot, since as I said - some of these problems have been on "the list" for years. But yet, nothing happened.

Despite the apparent simplicity of the conclusions in my wrap-up paragraph from the article - as in all things, I think the answer is of course, more complex. In our case, I'll offer that through a confluence of factors, we reached a "tipping point" that predisposed us to more actively seek out a solution, and we had people who worked together to furrow new ground, which resulted in a solution (or better solution).

I think I'll steer clear of commenting on the phenomenon of leadership intuition, which might also be characterized as "spider sense" - which isn't always wrong, and can many times be a by-product of experiential learning by senior leaders. So, it shouldn't be discounted entirely.

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