Showing posts with label Container Store. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Container Store. Show all posts

September 26, 2007

Take Care of Your Employees and Enterprise Architecture

User-centric EA is focused on the users, but also on the employees in the organization.

In Fortune Magazine, 3 September 2007, Kip Tendell the CEO of the super successful Container Store states “Put Employees Before Customers: If you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of the customers—and that will take care of the shareholders. To myopically focus on the shareholders is wrong. So we invest heavily in our employees.”

Applying this to the government is somewhat different than the private sector for a few reasons:

  • Citizens versus customers: We don’t have customers in the traditional sense of people purchasing goods or services, but we do have our citizens whom we serve by delivering services that they pay for through taxes.
  • Stakeholders versus shareholders: We don’t have shareholders to be concerned about, but we do have plenty of stakeholders, including lots of oversight from the Department (to which the agency reports), the Inspector General, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the General Accounting Office (GAO), The Hill, the media, and so on.
  • Essential services: The nature of the services being provided are of a different caliber than most in the private sector (this is not a put down to the private sector—in fact, I came to the government from the financial services industry). The services that the government provides such as law enforcement, defense readiness, consumer safety, health management, social services, and so on are absolutely critical to the functioning of an orderly society.

Based on these differences between public and private sectors, I do not think that government can afford to put employees before citizens (given the critical nature of the services provided to all of us). However, I do believe that treating employees well is a prerequisite to them providing good service and to meeting performance objectives and achieving mission execution.

Let’s face it, people respond better to honey than to vinegar. Institute market based pay, a culture of merit, pay for performance, and in general treat employees fairly and with respect, and they will deliver for the citizens of this country.

Every EA plan should include goals, objectives, and strategies that promote the employee, since they are the enterprise’s most critical asset in achieving the mission.


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