Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Pillars of Excellence

In an effort to reward employees for "going beyond the call" the Enterprise has implemented a "Pillar of Excellence" nomination and award program.

On Monday, while attending the Architect's Forum I received a nomination for a "Pillar of Excellence." My boss's boss read the nomination before all the architects and handed me four AMC tickets. Kind of cool, the tickets I mean.

In order to be nominated, the employee's deed must be repeatable. In other words, the process that they implemented should be copy-able by someone else and used to benefit others.

Some months ago I suggested to some of the architects that we get together for bagels and coffee once each month to share ideas. The company is so huge that many of the architects were solving the same problems that had already been solved. So we started to get together and help each other solve software architecture problems, share what each of us worked on that month, and talk about up-coming projects. It was so successful that other architects wanted to be part of the discussions. Soon, other non-architect groups began their own forum and began doing the same thing.

Just because you get the nomination doesn't mean you'll become a "Pillar of Excellence." Each month a committee assembles to discuss all the nominations. They choose four outstanding nominations and those four become the monthly pillars. They receive a trophy, a cake, a plaque, their picture hung by the elevators, and $150 bucks. Plus, their name is announced throughout the floor using a bullhorn.

I hope I don't become a pillar, I don't feel that strong. Besides, the nomination and tickets are just fine. (Although the $150 bucks would work.)

Anyway, I'm going to use my AMC tickets to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. That's my speed. No bullhorn, no picture, no cake. Now, if only I could win a golden ticket. I'd never give away an everlasting-gob-stopper!

If I only had a little humility, I would be perfect.  -Ted Turner