Rummler in 1981 on “Pushing 50 Foot of Wet Rope”

Pull with a rope – or push a rope?

Rummler on Video 1981

“The frustration is getting an organization to articulate what that linkage is. Big organizations are really keen on coming to us and talking to us at this end. Okay, you guys put in the knowledge and skills and somehow with a little bit of luck, we’ll get this out the other end. And it’s very much like pushing 50 foot of wet rope to make that happen. So I’m a firm believer that you pull performance out, rather than you push behavior in.”

Around the 4:30 mark…

This video was recorded on my first day at Motorola – June 8, 1981, one week before my official start date. I was asked if I wanted to come in to attend this. I did.

I had learned a “derivative of a derivative” of a Rummler approach to Performance Analysis in my prior job at Wickes Lumber starting 22 months earlier in August 1979, and I had even met Geary at an NSPI Conference in Dallas in 1980.

Two of my co-workers had worked with Geary’s brother Rick, at Blue Cross Blue Shield in Detroit before coming to Wickes just weeks before I started. And Geary’s brother-in-law was in our 10-person T&D unit in Saginaw Michigan as well.

I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to hear from him again – in the one-day session that was edited down to 45 minutes for this video.

The next week, on my official first day, Neil Rackham spent a day with us. That was recorded as well.


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