Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly killed the company's "Results Only Work Environment" (ROWE) program after taking the helm of the embattled retailer.
The program allowed corporate employees to work wherever they want, as long as they got the job done.
He called it "fundamentally flawed from a leadership standpoint," and later defended the decision in a column at the Star-Tribune.
"This program was based on the premise that the right leadership style is always delegation," wrote Joly. "It operated on the assumption that if an employee’s objectives were agreed to, the manager should always delegate to the employee how those objectives were met."
Now, the creators of ROWE have something to say to Joly: he doesn't understand ROWE at all.
"Since his announcement, Joly has repeated several inaccuracies about ROWE that make it very obvious to us, the creators of ROWE, that he does not understand the principles behind it, nor do the people advising him," ROWE creators Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler wrote on their blog.
ROWE is not about delegation, according to the creators, who call it the "very opposite of delegation."
"The beauty of a ROWE is that it’s equal parts accountability and autonomy," they wrote. " No results? No job. Not ‘no results? All hands on deck!’
The creators took issue with the idea that workers need to be physically around each other to collaborate, which they dubbed "a persistent myth," citing a Harvard study that examined the effect of office face-time.
And Joly called ROWE a "one-size-fits-all" program. The ROWE creators adamantly disagree.
"Joly is now asking everyone to work in the same way: in the same office, in the same old cubicle, the same 9-5 hours, the same wasteful commute," they wrote. "And he says that ROWE is a one-size-fits-all program! How perplexing!"
"Either Joly truly doesn't understand what ROWE is or he doesn't know how to lead in a ROWE," Thompson and Ressler concluded. "Either way, he just doesn’t get it."
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