Innovators Pay for Results, Not Time

For decades, if not centuries, our production efforts have been focused on time. We pay by the hour, day, week, month and year. We focus on the amount of time an employee (or contractor) spends working for us or on projects. In essence, we are rewarding time spent. What if instead of mandating the hours worked, we focused on results? What if all that mattered was the quality of the work product and getting it delivered on time (if not early)? What if we managed for the 21st century and the future, and not for the mechanized past?

Early in my management career, I worked for an organization that had employees paid by the hour and employees paid for results — the number of quality pieces produced. The employees producing components were technically paid to produce so many pieces per person, per hour; in reality, to keep production running they needed to produce all the pieces in the first half of their day. The result was that employees worked frantically, efficiently and effectively to produce 12 hours of product in a six-hour period. Once they had produced everything required for the day, they were free to do whatever they wanted, except go home.

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