Recently, fellow-blogger David Kasprzk, introduced me to the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) strategy.  Later, he invited me to guest post with him on Tim MacMahon’s A Lean Journey blog. Tim and David are good people with some great things to say, so I was happy to oblige.

Here’s the first half of my post. (Or, you can access the entire post right here, now.)

ROWE, created at Best Buy’s Minneapolis headquarters, espouses a philosophy under which employees can work where they want, when they want, and how they want – as long as the work gets done.

I love meritocratic thinking!

Of course, there’s nothing like a brand new philosophy or system to challenge, and/or sharpen, one’s personal belief systems. You can’t defend that which you don’t understand.

Admittedly, I am more than a bit fuzzy about ROWE. I’ve done some reading on the internet, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I’m considering buying the seminal book, Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: The Results-Only Revolution, but haven’t pulled the trigger.

In any event, here’s my two cents on what I think I know about ROWE. I could break into the Donald Rumsfeld spiel about known knowns, known unknowns, unknown unknowns…you get the point. So, in the end, what I have to say is worth just about $0.02. Definitely, nothing more.

As you read this, or perhaps more appropriately, after you read this, check out Kasprzk’s latest post on ROWE. It’s right here on Tim MacMahon’s A Lean Journey blog. Consider this a type of good-natured point/counterpoint between the two of us.

Here it goes…

ROWE ostensibly engages and empowers the workforce. It strips away some of the organizationally and self-imposed muda of rigidity and silly limitations and focuses on accountability and results. It’s tough to argue with that.

Of course, this almost seems too easy. The “Free Love” days of the 1960’s sounded great, but were not necessarily the best thing from a socio-ethics perspective.

Stupid analogy!? Maybe.

Part of my concern has to do with interdependence. In an enterprise, we can’t all be free actors all of the time – whether we are part of a natural work team or are individual contributors.

Please go to the rest of this post.

Past guest posts: “Do” Only Gets You Half the Way There, or…“No Pie for You!”, The Best or Nothing, Subsidiarity: A (Medieval) Lean Principle