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The Peter Principle?
09/18/2008

The Peter Principle is the principle that "In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence." While formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1968 book The Peter Principle, a humorous treatise which also introduced the "salutary science of Hierarchiology", "inadvertently founded" by Peter, the principle has real validity.

It holds that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their "level of incompetence"), and there they remain.

Peter's Corollary states that "in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out his duties" and adds that "work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence".

Do you know anyone like this?

Employee development continues to be the competitive advantage for companies as we navigate these extreme global business market changes.

Companies that fail to develop current organizational talent will face enormous pressure for survival. Good companies consider training and development important. "World Class" organizations consider training and development NECESSARY for survival.

The Super Operator

The super operator is possibly a key person on your team. Who are they? Where do they come from?

The "super" operator is the good machine or equipment operator that was promoted to supervisor with little or no training to do the job. These individuals struggle for success because they lack the tools to be successful. "Someone" assumed they might make a good supervisor because they know the production process. Simply put, process knowledge is only one small part of the skills necessary to be successful as a supervisor.

Additionally, many super operators dislike the duties required to be an effective supervisor and "take the job" because it is the only way they can grow financially. They hate to communicate with others, don't like training and development, don't know how to confront and tend to skip the activities they don't really care to perform.

Unfortunately, these individuals tend to settle in this role and remain until retirement or decide to leave on their own. Too many organizations are afraid to deal with this issue "head on" and avoid any action at all.

What's New?

"World Class" Incident Investigation
Find True Root Causes and Prevention

Course highlights include:
Accident Investigation (Purpose and Consequences)
Understand the difference between Blame and Accountability
Conditions for true accountability
Investigation tools - FMEA, Behavior Rationalization, Fishbone and 5-Why
The "Art" of asking good questions
Separating Fact from Opinion
The different parts of the investigation
Types of analysis for corrective (remedial) action
Completing the investigation report (customized to include You Company's Process)
Understand Root Causes (includes the Theory of Multiple Causation)
The costs of accidents and why preventing reoccurrence is so critical
Attendees receive an investigation reference manual

Thought for the day!

I recently discussed training and development with a key leader in a large organization. He stated that he was afraid his people would leave if he invested money developing them. My response was simple, would you rather NOT train them and keep them?

John Grubbs
GCI