ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) and the Holy Grail of Discretionary Effort…

My friend Tim Sackett has a nice post up at Fistful of Talent regarding ROWE - the Results Only Work Environment - if you're  not yet familiar with the ROWE concept – check it out here (  The simple explanation is that ROWE workplaces don't do office hours or have any expectation on where you are - they simply care that you get results.  

Go check out Tim's post, as he's interviewing the experts - the comments are as informative as the post. Results-e1332168642319

I love the concept, but like a lot of people, see challenges from a traditional talent perspective.  But my big challenge isn't with the fact that no office hours won't work for some roles and companies, it's the concept of discretionary effort.

How do you get discretionary effort and performance that exceeds the expectation of the company from the highest percentage possible of your employees?  

It's a question as old as time.   I have a hard time opening up the entire organization to ROWE.  My experience tells me there's just too many people that due to a variety of factors, will do the minimum or be happy with average.  

But - I love the concept of giving everyone who performs at high level a ROWE experience via a 6-month pass.  Why not give everyone who's a great performer the freedom?  Would it cause others on the fence related to discretionary effort to give more - to get to the freedom and the 6-month ROWE pass (if they maintain, they keep it)?

Coffee's for closers.  Give your stars ROWE, challenge the ditch diggers to raise their game.  

Of course, to do that you have to have your stuff together from a performance calibration perspective.  

Good luck.  You're going to need it if you experiment with ROWE.  But it's a worthy cause....

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