So many time have I heard it said that things don’t get done round here because there are no consequences. Nothing happens if nothing happens.
Now I have always taken the word consequences to be mildly threatening. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get round it to as you will never be taken to task. I have taken it that the consequence would be disciplinary action, perhaps resulting in dismissal and that seems a bit harsh.
People shouldn’t be expected to do things because if they don’t they will get a rollicking. That’s the exact opposite of the type of business I wish to be involved in. I would like people to understand why the things we have planned are important and work out how they can best get them delivered. If they don’t understand I would hope that they would ask a bit and seek clarification.
But they don’t always and things don’t get done and it drives me to distraction yet there are no consequences.
Personal development plans, or appraisals as they were once called, are a case in point. They are supposed to be done on an annual basis and are an opportunity for supervisors and their people to get together to agree priorities, development opportunities and other improvements for the coming twelve months. Despite my protestations there is a small yet significant cohort in in my team that never get round to them.
It takes a simple comment to change your view sometimes and it was Dawn in this instance who was the insightful genius.
She said that consequences don’t always have to be negative. The consequence of not doing something might be that such and such a benefit isn’t realised. Rather than dwell on the negative consequences, how can I tell a better story about why these things are important? Rather than this is what will happen if you don’t, this is what will happen if you do.
I think I’m going to rethink my approach to the personal development plans.