Authors and Consultants | GP Strategies Corporation

Job Changes

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

One of the questions we frequently hear is “how do outcomes work when jobs change so frequently?”

It’s a great question. We live in a rapidly changing work world where jobs are constantly changing and evolving. Companies shift responsibilities between roles. Companies change strategies and add or subtract responsibilities from roles. All those factors lead to changes in the basic makeup of each critical role. So how do we handle those changes when using an outcome-based approach?

First let us set up a scenario and see how it works. Assume there are three critical positions, each with a unique set of outcomes—something like this:

Role 1 Role 2 Role 3
Outcome A

Outcome B

Outcome C

Outcome D

Outcome E

Outcome F

Outcome G

Outcome H

Outcome I

Outcome J

Outcome K

Outcome L


For simplicity, we’ve assumed no two roles share any outcomes and each role has exactly four outcomes.

Now the company decides to make a change and eliminate one position—role 3. Here’s the key question: what about the outcomes currently being produced by people in that role? Are those outcomes no longer needed because of some change in the overall strategy? Can they be produced by someone else, or will that overload that other role?

In this case, the company must look at outcomes I, J, K, and L. For each, a specific decision must be made. Perhaps one is no longer needed, one can be added to role 1 and two can be added to role 2. By evaluating the role at the outcome level, a more accurate assessment of the work is possible.

The opposite situation works equally well. Say a change in strategy points to the need for new outcomes and potentially a new role. Once the aspirational outcomes are clear, the following questions should be asked: Will these outcomes require a new role? Can they be picked up by the existing roles? Or can the existing roles share the responsibility to produce the new outcomes? Wait—shared outcomes? That’s a topic for another post.


Question to ponder:

  • When you modify jobs, what process do you use to make sure all the work is accounted for?
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