Why Outcome Based Job Descriptions (c) Work
Outcome Based Job Descriptions (c) are a key to effective organizations but if you don’t do them with the right understanding they will NOT give you the effectiveness you seek.
Now I will not go into the mechanics of how to write them as it would require too long a post. But here are the reasons and understanding required.
OBJD’s work because of human nature. People are naturally teleological, goal oriented, SEEKING beings. This is just a fact.
It turns out, wink-wink, that Abraham Maslow is right.
If you are hungry you automatically seek———
If you are thirsty you automatically seek—–
If you are lonely, you automatically seek——–
If you feel bad, you automatically seek ——
BF Skinner way back in the day, proved that people seek pleasure and avoid pain. But you can also restate that people seek “relief” from pain, so even pain is seeking driven.
Maslow identified the graduated nature of our seeking with his hierarchy.
All of this great research was true then and is true now.
So why then do leaders and managers not utilize this stuff they all studied in management and psyche 101? Because they get lost in the whirl-wind, as Covey has come to call it, and they seem to focus on people as a MEANS. “I need people to DO these things for me so I can get work done.”
The problem with this mindset is that fundamentally it looks at people as just another part of the business “schematic” a “human resource” like widgets or ingredients or material and frankly when you approach them that way you dumb them down and get less than you really want from them. (Land and Labor and Capital.)
This is the main cause of mediocrity in organizations. Instead of giving people a “responsibility” as Jim Collins
we give them task lists of stuff to DO. We may add “responsibilities” too but these are usually veiled lists as well. This is all an attempt to manage people people by management fiat and to do so before the fact.. Duh!!!! There was a time about 40 years ago when this was effective. But that was back when the world was pretty static, and writing them that way worked, for the most part. But in THIS world, the world of the last 20 years, in this world of continuous improvement, this model does not work. Truth is, all it ever produced was mediocrity.
But lets move on…..
People have talents and skills.
When these talents and skills are pointed at business outcomes they get accomplished if these talents are pointed at outcomes that match those skills, people become self-managing to very large degree.
The key is to clearly, with crystal clarity, define the desired outcome in a -“value-added” way. In a previous post I have defined value-added specifically as “that which moves the organization forward”. Non value added outcomes are therefore “muda” or waste, and should be eliminated. And what happens with aligned people, that is, when you hire talented people, who also align with your core values and purpose, and point them at what you want them to accomplish for you, things rise to a new level. It is a game changer.
If your job outcomes are crafted in an ultimate way, if they describe your VISION (with clarity) for the contribution the job makes, you have it figured out.
In this environment, (OBJD and the RIGHT people) you get continuous improvement, pointed at the achievement of well defined outcomes THAT REFLECT WHAT YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO BECOME!
Look out baby!
OBJD is a key outcome of my consulting model. To find out more