Is the culture of performance becoming a culture of performing?

I was asked at a recent meeting why there were so many consultants in the world now. The truth of the matter is there aren’t.

There is a huge amount of contract labor, due to the shifting economics of corporate finance, that call themselves consultants. However, if you look at the billing model, control of hours, and direct management how things are delivered you see these people are contractors not consultants.

That’s not to say they are not needed also. As organizations have flatten, staff functions removed getting most activities accomplished now almost requires bringing in specialist labor on a T&M basis

This also prompts the question when do executives, management and employees have time to think or have staff to do business research research to get to the best answer vs. daily accomplishments just for the purpose of reporting something.

So the question becomes are we creating a culture of performance [Results] or a culture of performance [ShowBiz]?

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Dick Davies

Is showbiz better communication? As people need to get better results and as their jobs become more transparent, an appreciation of showbiz is necessary. Start with a nurse or CSR, go up the chain to a line supervisor, to a lead responsible for getting better results. Showbiz can help a lot.

Mark Hammer

In pedagogy, one often hears the phrase “teaching to the test”. The underlying assumption is that instructors can often find themselves focussing unduly on what the exam consists of, and much less on thorough explanation and coverage of the course content, which the exam will search for indicators of. The course/class becomes about the exam.

In an era of undue emphasis on “accountability” and “performance” (all too often motivated by public scandal or resentment over taxes more than anything else), public managers can often find themselves unwittingly “managing to the indicators”. Indeed, the goal becomes one of looking good rather than necessarily accomplishing good. Of course, if one accomplishes good, then you look good. The trouble is that the relationship doesn’t work the other way.

Brian K Seitz

Mark, it goes beyond the walls of public managers now and into corporate America. The term managing by the numbers comes to mind. You see it in businesses, so Executives get their bonuses, School systems so teachers don’t get dinged, I’ve even seen it happening with the Cub Scouts with merit badges. Somehow accountablity and performance has turned into advertising

Steve Richardson

Selling the story is necessary but not sufficient to initiate and sustain a results-oriented management culture. The problem is on the demand side. Leaders who just want to look good will be satisfied with the show but those who are serious about achievement will keep pushing.