unrulyOne of the significant shifts we’re seeing in talent management is around input versus output performance measurement. The traditional Company Man arrived at work promptly, spent solid hours at his desk, did not overstay his welcome at tea breaks and finished his lunch before the aloted lunch hour was up. His inputs were impeccable. However, todays young talent are asking for a different measure … outputs.
Their thinking goes like this, “If my work is up-to-date and the results are superior, why can’t I go home early?” The older generations cringe at this style, writing it off to arrogant and lazy “youth”. It is the mark of talented Xers that they be measured on their outputs and not their inputs. They are not interested in sitting at a desk for the sake of being at the desk until knock-off. Do we realise how much of a pradigm shift this is in business dynamics?
Raymond de Villers and I (both Xers) caught ourselves out last week while facilitaing a workshop at an automotive client. In an exercise, two Bright Young Things were really not playing the game – they were rowdy, interupting pairs next to them, chatting about stuff irrelevant to the exercise … in all, they were slacking off! Ray and I considered asking them to “knuckle down” and “not disrupt the rest of the group”, until we realised that the outputs they had already completed were fantastic. Despite their attention deficit disorder style, they had produced good outputs, and saw it fit to balance the work with some play (“horsing around” for some Boomers).
Both myself and Ray were amazed at how we, as Xers, got caught up in the inputs-driven paradigm here. We had to consciously coach ourselves to understand that despite their fooling aorund, it was their outputs that mattered, and that asking them to “keep it down” would have hindered the process.
So, we must be aware of how totalising a paradigm shift needs to become.

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