The Pull

If you haven’t surmised it, I’m having a little trouble putting new stuff to my blog these days. I think I’ve just proven that there’s a direct, inverse relationship between how cool my job is and how much I blog. I’m not giving up on my little chunk of the internet, and I have some good ideas for future posts, but my work… my play, actually, has me using all spare creativity and thoughtfulness to resolve interesting, meaningful opportunities.

Today, iQmetrix was named number 24 on the list of best small and medium-sized employers in Canada. I share this not to gloat (though it feels good), but to give iQmetrix it’s fair due. The company’s not known enough, either in my community or the nation.

And before you write me off as a newly addicted workaholic, I left work at 3 today to give some quality attention to my family.

This, of course, is exactly the kind of thing that has me applying tremendous discretionary effort towards even more success for a pretty awesome organization.

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10 2010

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  1. Chris #

    This is very interesting Nevin. I was kind of wondering where you’ve been.

    Let me ask this to you though regarding your latest post…

    I have no doubt that iQmetrix (and other progressive companies like it) have a different way of doing things and managing employees that makes them as progressive as they are. But, there has to obviously be an underlying need for ultimate accountability from employees. For instance, you can go home early at 3:00pm but if you don’t deliver on your objectives, no doubt, you’re finished (and I mean kaput!). iQmetrix management is not going to stand for you having your cake and eating it too, so to speak. Does this observation strike you as true?

    “Well, duh!”, you’re probably thinking. Isn’t that just painfully obvious? Not necessarily in my experience with ‘more traditional’ organizations — especially if they have employee representation. There is a paradox at play in these organizations from what I have observed. The more such organizations try to be progressive, the more their performance suffers. Why? Because it is very difficult — if not impossible — to strictly enforce accountability for results. I see it all the time. Did you ever see this with your former employer?

    In some sense I do envy you and your new position. Must be nice to have flexibility but also the mandate and ability to get things done — even if it might mean your neck at the end of the day!

  2. Nevin #

    Hi Chris,
    As always, thanks for your comments.

    If I follow you, you suggest progressive, performing organizations have an ultimate need for accountability and performance. I absolutely agree. I think that’s pretty standard fare.

    The employer/employee relationship, however, doesn’t end as suddenly and decisively as might be inferred from your comment. My organization (and I would suspect, most progressive orgs) is predominantly based on trust, faith in an individual’s desire to do their best and an understanding that sometimes long-term value requires up-front investment.

    To your other point, I think maybe when conventional/traditional organizations (former employer included) try to “strictly enforce accountability for results,” they’re working without the most essential element – trust. Without that, it becomes an increasingly micro-managed effort to quantify and be explicit about the desired behaviour. I think you can’t effectively itemize all the activities that will get people to perform. In fact, every time they try and more explicitly measure, they squeeze out another drop of any remaining discretionary effort the employee holds.

    This perhaps sounds like I’m making an argument for less explicit, less measured sort of accountability. I don’t think I’ve explored it enough to make that pitch. Trust, however, is a clear winner. It helps you crack the top 25, both in performance and employee engagement.

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