October 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm #112143
“Want to make your company more efficient? Don’t promote people based on
merit–do it at random. That’s the conclusion of a study from Alessandro
Pluchino and his team at the Universitá di Catania. Pluchino’s study is
one of the winner’s of this year’s Ig Nobel
prize, a parody of the Nobel Prize given by the Annals of Improbable
Research for achievements that ‘first make people laugh, and then make
them think.’ “
October 4, 2010 at 6:04 pm #112153
Wow…that’s crazy. Pretty interesting though
October 5, 2010 at 1:21 am #112151
So, is this more an indictment of workers or our current organizational structures? To me this is proof that instead of blaming the people in the positions that we should look at how we created the positions in the first place.
October 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm #112149
Alan L. GreenbergParticipant
I hope that “parody” is the key word here. Otherwise this is frightening and in the realm of “Nothing Succeeds Like Failure.”
October 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm #112147
This is no parody and goes to the heart of a dillema that has faced many (most?) executives who understand the Peters Principal. How do you reward performance at middle and lower levels while promoting based on ability to succeed at higher levels? It is not uncommon for executives reviewing their subordinates to recognize they have one or more who while excelling in their current positions, just do not have the vision or personality to do well at the next level. These individuals may be working with (or worse yet supervising) other individuals whose performance in their current position is sub par but who do have what it takes to excell at higher levels. Very few senior executives would want to take a chance on promoting a substandard employee over the head of his or her excellent supervisor; but sometimes that is what would be best for the organization.
Rewarding excellence without promoting people to their Peters Principle level is very difficult as Peters himself acknoledged in his second book “The Peters Prescription”. Among his suggestions:
Allow people to request demotions back to a more comfortable level with no adverse commentary in their employee record.
Consider allowing people to bypass some levels if the intermediate level requires skillsets not needed below or above.
Most importantly (and I am recalling this from reading the book a LONG time ago) clearly identify the skillset required for each position and promote based on skillset match rather than performance at lower levels. Painful for those who are passed over but better than being fired for incompetence at a higher level and ultimately best for the organization.
October 10, 2010 at 8:36 pm #112145
Richard Glen MillerParticipant
Although my organization is at the bottom for efficiency, they DO seem to randomly promote.
Another interesting fact is that the idiots they put in management, keep going up the ladder.
I guess I should rethink doing my best ?
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