I’m working on that document project I mentioned back in Do You Want Feedback? We, the writing team, explained how we would pair-review and rewrite where necessary to use more of the tone and less casual language. And, more importantly, we would correct the problems the original editing created.
We did that last week. We all worked in pairs and resolved the tracked changes. I integrated the entire document. It took me maybe an extra couple of hours to integrate because not everyone had resolved all the tracked changes. I asked some questions, integrated the answers and created the entire document. (In Word, you copy one doc, paste it into the integrated doc. That’s it. Not a lot of work.)
On our meeting, our partners wanted to give me the credit.
No! That’s not right. I performed the role of DevOps or the people who push the product to the platform. I was the release person. I did not do all the hard work by myself.
I see this in organizations all the time. We give credit to the person who touched the work last. Or, the manager. Or someone other than the people who did the work.
We work with other people. If we want to acknowledge an accomplishment—a great idea—we need to acknowledge the entire team.
I do want recognition for my work. I bet you do, too. And, I don’t want to take credit for work I didn’t do.
Even on my book projects, I acknowledge all the people who helped me review and edit my book. I acknowledge the people who do the covers, indexing, and layout.
Very few projects are single-person projects. Why, then, are we so concerned with who gets the credit?
Credit and it’s first cousin, “accountability” reinforce our desire to work as individuals, so we can prove our value.
We had to prove our value in school, working alone. When we have individual objectives at work, we supposedly prove our value. I don’t buy it. When you measure an individual, you lose the value in the overall deliverable. Since much of the work is I see is inter-related, team-based work, that doesn’t make sense for me.
I want recognition from my peers about my contribution(s) to our work. I want recognition from my managers about our deliverables and how those deliverables make a difference.
When we insist on giving individuals credit (or blame), we reinforce the idea that “I did my job.” We decrease our ability to work as a team, delivering what the organization needs.
I prefer to think about, “What do we need now?” and adapt as we proceed. I don’t want to hear, “I did my job,” as if that job never changes. I don’t know about you, but my role is flexible on many projects and my deliverables change all the time.
Let’s consider the difference between credit and recognition, and who provides what kind of recognition. (If I write about this on my Managing Product Development blog, I’ll cross-link to this post.)
That is the question this week: Who gets the credit?
- Who is the Change For?
- What Does Success in Learning Look Like to You?