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What is your Organizational Expiration Date?

Sep 21

We got home from vacation recently and like most families we were foraging through the cupboards and refrigerator to make dinner our first night back home.  I poured some milk for my son, and he asked me “is that milk alright?” Like somehow I hadn’t considered its feelings, but he mostly meant was it still good.

Sure the expiration date had passed a day, or so, prior, but I did the Dad smell test, and that milk was more than alright!  He wasn’t in agreement, so our “alright” milk took a trip to never-gonna-get-drank-land down the sink.  Expiration dates on food are great. They help us understand when something goes bad, protects us from ourselves and what we think is good and bad, which can be subjective.

All this makes me think that we should have expiration dates on our employees!

It was recently rumored that Detroit Tigers Manager, Brad Ausmus, is probably going to get fired after this season.  He was a popular hire two years ago and led the Tigers to the playoff.  This year, though, the Tigers have not met expectations, with a team filled with high price talent.

So, why has his expiration date come up?  It’s all about expectations.  Once you gain success, it’s not good enough to maintain that success or, G*d forbid go backwards, you have to keep getting more successful.  The only way Ausmus get’s more successful is to win the World Series, which is tough to do.

There are a number of other reasons people should have expiration dates with organizations; these include:

  • Chronic Average:   This is for the people who just never really do anything- they just exist in your organization.  After a while, they need to just go exist at another organization.
  • Convicted Idiot: This is the person who makes certain bad decision, so bad, that their expiration with your organization must come up. Think, hitting on the bosses wife at the holiday party, or worse!  Probably can’t legally terminate them, but they need to go someplace else.
  • 1997 Top Salesman/woman:   This happens way to much – yeah, you were top sales person a decade ago, either get the trophy back or give another organization your attitude!  We tend to keep them around because we are hoping they’ll regain their top form – but they don’t – let them expire.
  • My Boss Is Dummer than Me: An organization can take only so many of these, for only so long – Ok, you win, go be smarter than us someplace else.
  • No Admins Left To Sleep With: I’m hoping the title of this one explains it as well – otherwise you might have reached your HR expiration date at your organization!

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