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02/01/2019

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E.K., great insights. So glad you stopped into the Cafe!

Many thanks, Margaret.

I only got a chance to read this today. Good treatment of the topic.

It sparked a recollection of a "funny" exchange at a meeting at a sister government agency (let's just say they're located in Langley, VA), now more than 10 years ago. I vividly recall articulating exactly what you were emphasizing, when I stated very matter-of-factly that: ". . . you all know that our employees are a means to an ends".

The resulting silence was so deafening, you would have thought I'd suggested reviving the practice witchcraft (bad) or advocating for the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service (worse).

Maybe it's just a phenomenon in government (I suspect it's not), but it seems that losing sight of the "ends" is many times simply a function of "distractedness" or recurring organizational amnesia - which requires a periodic wake-up call from the front desk.

The same conversations often play out in the related sphere of employee performance management. Many times I have seen managers put in place performance goals and metrics that are tied to measuring activities, but not results. It is as if measuring how fast you rev the engine matters more than how fast you move down the road - or whether you're even driving in the right direction.

And I think you're right to raise the lexis of CRHR. Words matter. The words we use shape our thoughts and actions. So, we need a new way to discuss topics with which we've become complacent.

Great points, Chris and Joe. Thanks for weighing in. You are right. The end of delivering Results is often lost on many for a variety of reasons: culture, convenience (including amnesia), complacency, common usage and terminology, etc. And activities are too often confused with, or preferred over, results.

In some sectors, results are more difficult to articulate, align, and/or achieve (for example, improving "student achievement" in schools and colleges to match the demanding standards of employers who appear to want significantly more than educators want or like to take on). So whole systems easily fade or fail.

Wherever we have zero to weak links between results and rewards, the end of delivering results tends to suffer over the years from less than robust levels of articulation, action, and alignment. In contrast, in many private sectors, there are clearer definition of the end of delivering results, accompanied by often stronger actions towards alignment. And So CRHR needs stronger alignment with other functions to deliver organizational results.

Thanks once again, Chris and Joe.

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