Holding Fast and Moving On
Preserving the Core and Stimulating Progress
The above idea is a big picture concept in the book “Good to Great” Why some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t- by Jim Collins. In the book Mr Collins talks about how important it is that the Core Ideology which he defines as the Core Purpose and Values, remains constant, and protected. Since the Values are the components of culture, and your culture is the sum of your values, as practiced, it is vital that you preserve them. In the book there is a great story of the workers at Nucor Steel physically removing a pro-union organizer from the premises. THAT is preserving the core, and values in action. I posted about the Amish communities response to the mass shooting in Pennsylvania. The point of the concept is that there are some things that shouldn’t change, Values and Purpose being primary. These two are the foundation of your organization, and if the foundation isn’t firm, it is very difficult to build something strong and enduring. I’ve written about Purpose and Values in the big picture in other posts. Stimulating Progress is all about the idea that products, processes, strategies, and tactics should be constantly adapting and changing even though the core remains the same. It is a valuable paradox.
This post is about a micro-view of this idea in job descriptions. Every job should have a core purpose, which is its primary responsibility or outcome. This core purpose should never change and if this purpose ever ceases to exist, or becomes unecessary, the job should be eliminated. I have written about my belief that job descriptions should be Outcome Based. The reason for that is that in a healthy organization the WHAT of a job is always changing because of the constant improvement imperative. How we do a job is in constant evolution. So if you write your job descriptions based on what you want to accomplish , the Outcomes, you can give people a sense of their responsibility to the organization and some sense of consistency regarding your expectation of their performance, while at the same time encouraging them to be in a state of constant improvement about how they do their job, or better said, how they “fulfill their responsibility.”
Give it some thought. If you’d some help getting there: