Performance = Results

Fresh out of our User Experience Group meeting (see photo below), I had to run look up an article we read late last year in reference to one of our “cultural beliefs” here in the Information and Communications Systems department. This particular belief is that “performance = results,” and it explains a core belief we have in the UxG.

What does “performance = results” mean? It means performance != effort. It means your success depends not on the amound of hours or the extra effort you’re putting into a solution, but rather the result of that work. If I can solve a problem in an hour, and someone else in five hours, who’s working harder? Longer? Better?

It reminded me of this article from Newsweek by Eric Schmidt and Hal Varian from Google, called Google: Ten Golden Rules, with the subhead “Getting the most out of knowledge workers will be the key to business success for the next quarter century. Here’s how we do it at Google.”

Let me quote right from the beginning:

“At google, we think business guru Peter Drucker well understood how to manage the new breed of ‘knowledge workers.’ After all, Drucker invented the term in 1959. He says knowledge workers believe they are paid to be effective, not to work 9 to 5, and that smart businesses will ‘strip away everything that gets in their knowledge workers’ way.’ Those that succeed will attract the best performers, securing ‘the single biggest factor for competitive advantage in the next 25 years.’”

We are seeking to provide that very environment here, and we find that it works beautifully. We, the creative class, are here to perform. And performance means results. It means we’re paid to be effective, make 1,000 great decisions every day, and take this mentality and inspire others in the organization to follow suit.

We’re proving it works.

Schmidt outlines several key principles of creating and thriving in this kind of environment – a checklist of how to succeed and then attract even more like us. The points (briefly – see the article for more explanation):

We’re doing each of these things here, and it’s changing a lot. Just today a candidate came in to meet the team and remarked, “I didn’t expect [the environment] to be so fun.” Candidates come here and they want to be part of it. They’re surprised to find it at a church / non-profit, and they’re thrilled to be part of it. Customers, which here are internal, are starting to say things like “I couldn’t have asked for more,” and users say things like “it’s so easy I think I’m doing something wrong.”

And you know what? It’s contagious. Other departments start to take notice, and the excitement, passion, and desire starts catching on. Which, really, is what we’re aiming for.

posted by Jason Lynes on Friday, Aug 25, 2006
tagged with northtemple, cultural-beliefs