Efficiency versus Working and the Door #3 concept

It’s common these days for executive speakers to remind managers that they should be focused on results instead of hours.  You hear the same refrain from employees that choose to live their personal lives outside of work.  The problem is that some of those employees saying “look at the value, not the hours” are putting in neither the value nor the hours.  They are simply hoping you don’t have the ability to measure the value.

The Door #3 concept is something I’ve been big on this year.  Essentially it states that:

Any question that is presented with only 2 options will have 1 or more unstated and likely outcomes.

I know, common sense right?  Yet the fact that most people don’t follow this becomes more apparent during political season.  The person who presents the question with only two options is being misleading.  The person who gives an answer without thinking outside the box is just playing along.  No value comes from this process.

Going back to the employee side there are now at least 5 options:

  • Employees who work long hours and produce above average results.
  • Employees who work long hours.
  • Employees who produce above average results.
  • Employees that work short hours and produce below average results.
  • Employees that work long hours and product below average results.

And everything in between.  Putting all of the options on the table may be the most important part of the decision making process.  Don’t fall into the trap of not looking deeper.


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