We've all heard the term "butts in seats" or as I prefer – "rears in seats" or "space fillers."
This is a work context and so we are exiting an era where the importance of being present and seen is less important than actual performance. Depending upon where you work, this realization may have already taken place. Obviously, if you are making cars or shoes – you gotta be at the factory unless you can set up equally effective equipment at home.
But, if you are in the online business it shouldn't matter if you are in Tahiti, in a basement in Alaska or sitting on top of the Empire State building. As long as you have an Internet connection and a fast computer….you should be good. Oh, and let's through in a few people skills along with those requirements.
In enters my organization. We question when program managers have to stay home to watch sick kids. That's right! You know the kid is sleeping half the time and so the program manager is obviously working while the child is resting.
Oh no. We can't do that. We have to see the program manager sitting at their desk looking at their computer. We have to talk to them while they are trying to work on their computer. We have to invite them to unnecessary meetings. We have to make sure we see them running all around for us in the name of productivity. Our goal is to make their job harder just to see if they can step to the challenge. Yep, that is how it actually plays out. We aren't partners. We are scrutinizers and jail wardens.
How offensive is that? How distrusting is that? What does that say about the person who makes these decisions? What does it say about an organization that supports someone making those decisions?
It is old thinking. It is not progressive. It inhibits our work. It is a sign of low self-esteem. It is what will drive the performers away and leave the bottom dwellers to support what is to be a "world class organization." It repulses me in the world of the web 2.0 revolution.
Hats off to those organizations that are full of action and less talk. Hats off to those that reward performance instead of sustain the underachiever. We are full of talk and mass confusing action. We are not world class and never will we be. The trick is to move on to a place that is and try to catch up with those that have lived with the refreshing goodness of collaboration, trust, performance valuing and …the expectation that the best ideas will come outside of the walls of the brick and mortar building.
I'm available, where are you?