Adopting A PCT View

I recently posted to my web site another article that uses a simplified PCT
framework as a way of looking at human performance. This one is titled
"Performance as Intervention: Performer as Interventionist." Its basic
premise is that, in organizations, people are more profitably viewed and
treated as interventionists, as "agents" acting on behalf of their
employers, than as "instruments" simply to be directed and controlled by
their employers. The paper can be found at

I've already received some complimentary emails from people on lists where I
announced the new article. These also include some requests for more info,
particularly about some of the implications of adopting a PCT view of human
behavior and performance. So, I jotted down some preliminary thoughts (see
the list below).

I'm looking for additions, revisions and other suggestions. Feel free to
comment in whatever way the interplay of your reference conditions and
perceptions yields.

Here's my "starter" list:

Adopting A PCT View:

     Opens the door to and provides a theoretical basis for a very different
approach to managing and improving human performance.

     Requires that managers forego a shaky, impractical and ineffective
emphasis on controlling human behavior in favor of enhancing their influence
over results achieved by others.

     Draws attention to the built-in potential for conflict when management
practices focus on human behavior instead of human performance.

     Shifts the locus of feedback from manager-to-performer to

     Relieves managers of the burden of providing �feedback� (which isn�t
really feedback at all) and focuses them on the importance of devising and
supporting systems that will ensure the existence of genuine feedback.

     Shifts the locus and focus of efforts to manage and improve performance
from the performer to the structures in which the performer intervenes so as
to produce desired results.

     Accommodates empirical findings about managing and improving human
performance albeit from a very different theoretical perspective.


Fred Nickols, CPT
Distance Consulting
"Assistance at a Distance"

In a message dated 7/16/2004 11:59:46 AM Eastern Daylight Time, nickols@WORLDNET.ATT.NET writes:

[From Kenny Kitzke (2004.07.18)]

Fred, this is wonderful work! Keep it up.

<I’m looking for additions, revisions and other suggestions. Feel free to
comment in whatever way the interplay of your reference conditions and
perceptions yields.>

I hope you are coming to the CSG Conference next week in Chicago? I would enjoy meeting you and sharing some thoughts about organizations and organizational performance in person. I have spent the past 20 years consulting on these issues, including the last 8 or so from a HPCT view. And, specifically, I have focused on the role of employees and managers in maximizing organizational performance.

Your “Starter List” is very “perceptive” (to use a word close to our hearts) concerning how employees are viewed and treated by management and how that might be improved. I could not fault any of its claims. There is much vagueness there, however, which is understandable when generalizing. I suspect this is why you have received requests for more information and clarification of why such changes are important.

I have a busy day today, in fact a jammed schedule before I leave for the Conference, so do not have the time to add much other than acknowledgement and encouragement at this time. Hopefully, in the future, I can add something of value.

For now, I can only say that the term “Interventionist” is not a good one to my ear. The concept is fine, the term has negative connotations. A more pleasant and equally accurate term might be an “Empowered Employee.” This is more a part of the business vernacular and might get a better reception by employees, managers and executives (leaders).

Best regards,


Upside Down Leader Regimen

Value Creation Systems