Pursuing Radical Fairness
In an age when we’re asked to bring more of ourselves to work every day (more imagination, more initiative, more performance and more hours) it’s easy to feel like we’re getting less than we’ve earned (less compensation, less security, less recognition and less voice). Today, employees are being asked to work harder and smarter and longer than ever before, but they often feel the game has been rigged in favor of a very few at the top.
Long-term, this is unsustainable. Individuals will give the best of themselves only if they feel the “system” is inherently fair. Among other things, this sense of equity requires that …
- Leaders are truly accountable to the led.
- Compensation is correlated with contribution, not hierarchical position.
- Every idea competes on a level playing field.
- Every voice gets heard, and every concern gets attended to.
- Status and power go to those who add the most value, rather than to those who are the most politically astute.
- Information is shared, not hoarded; right-to-know replaces need-to-know.
- There is complete transparency around individual performance and compensation.
- Decision-making processes are open and highly consultative.
- There are no Switzerland-Somalia pay differentials.
Organizations that are equitable at their core will be the beneficiaries of the sort of dedication and passion that competitors can only dream about. Radical fairness just might be the ultimate incentive system.
What sorts of management innovation would help us to excise partisanship, politicking and the abuse of power from our organizations? How can we build organizations that are models of radical fairness?