There's a never-ending tug-of-war between means and ends --- between aiming correctly and hitting the target --- between taking the right approach and getting the right answer. If we reward success regardless of how it is achieved, then a lucky gambler becomes the rôle model for the organization ... and we're in big trouble. If we give an "E" for effort to everybody who tries hard but fails, we may never accomplish the mission.

Obviously, one needs both. Making a hole-in-one isn't the only proper criterion; neither is a lovely swing and follow-through. Somebody who wins the race may yet deserve a reprimand for cheating. Somebody who obeys the rules but gets the wrong result may still deserve to be rewarded. Being right is evidence, not proof, of excellence.

Monday, April 10, 2000 at 05:55:09 (EDT) = 2000-04-10

TopicThinking - TopicSociety

(correlates: NecessityAndSufficiency, SelfReliance, SurvivalFactors, ...)