In the past week, I have begun receiving updates from 30hourjobs.com and enjoyed their recent link to this article on ROWE, or Results Only Work Environment. In summary, it’s an organizational philosophy that is not concerned how, or where the work gets done, as long as it gets done.
ROWE gives everyone 100 percent autonomy and 100 percent accountability – no results, no job.
That’s pretty scary if you are a manager as it sounds like it eliminates a large part of your job. You no longer have to organize when people arrive, leave, take vacations, go for lunch, or attend meetings. You don’t have to give direction. They will do all those things on their own around the requirement to get the job done. It blows up the traditional source of a manager’s power. What does a manager manage if they don’t manage people?
What I like about a ROWE environment is that the traditional manager becomes a results coach, and I think most managers would like that better, too.
And when it’s all about results, you get a highly motivated team. The drivers of motivation that Susan Fowler describes – Autonomy, Relatedness, and Competency – are off the charts in ROWE. We would all be motivated to work for a company that:
- Did not tell us how, but rather expected us to choose how to get the job done (Autonomy)
- Did not care who worked the most hours or had the bigger office, but was full of people all focused on results (Relatedness)
- Did not reward tenure or attendance, but instead recognized performance (Competence)
I think it can apply to any work environment, too. Taking the bus in Vancouver last week, I observed many drivers who knew their passengers by name, were helpful with new riders and drove skillfully and smoothly through big city traffic to arrive safely on time at each stop. In an environment where they could just be counting the hours, driving in silence, ignoring the passengers and other drivers, they took ownership of the results. It was their bus, their passengers and they were 100% accountable for arriving on time.
A ROWE is a serious thing when it comes to the consequences of not delivering the results you promised. If that bus driver is frequently late getting to stops or gets into accidents, what happens? In a ROWE, that driver would lose their job. Brunt and brutal? Sure, but what if they agreed to those terms ahead of time? Now it’s not brutal, it’s just about performance.
If you’d like to Pick My Brain on being more Results Oriented in your current role, click here to book a free call with me.