Dear Friends, It is with deeply saddened and heavy hearts that we write to tell you that our dear Keeley is no longer with us. It was a very difficult decision to make but, as of Tuesday, she was simply unable to walk. According to the Vet, the combination of her hip and spinal arthritis…Details
Do you have family that lecture you about the correct way to do your job, or in-laws at family dinners who never stop talking? These are all indicators of the DISC style they exhibit. Over the Memorial Day weekend, I had several opportunities to sit down and reflect on just how unique each of my…Details
There was an interesting experiment conducted years ago using monkeys and bananas. The researchers placed five monkeys in a room with a ladder and a some bananas at the top of it. It didn’t take long before one of the monkeys saw the bananas and decided to climb the ladder. As soon as the monkey…Details
Many of us can recall where we were 6:00pm Eastern May 21st. According to thousands of billboards and bus benches, that was the time when all the righteous believers would be exalted while the rest of us sinners stayed behind to experience earthquakes and other natural phenomenon as an awakening. By now you’ve probably heard…Details
How do you feel when you enter a convention or networking event? Nervous, shy, uncomfortable? This distress is understandable. Typically, we rise through the ranks through our strong command of the technical elements of their jobs and a 24/7 focus on accomplishing our objectives. When challenged to move beyond our functional specialty and address the strategic issues facing the…Details
I used to think that companies wanted the straight laced, clean pressed, follow the rules type of knowledge worker, but I’m starting to think otherwise. Being in the assessment industry, I see the whole gamut of behavior styles professionals exhibit. On our DISC assessments, one of the four styles is dedicated to how people respond…Details
The United States Marine Corp believes strongly in what they call “The Rule of Three.” They’ve found that implementing this rule saves lives, gets more done faster and more efficiently. An article on The Corp in INC. magazine says, “The rule dictates that a person should limit his or her attention to three tasks or…Details
I have one of the best jobs on the planet. Over the last year I’ve been scouring the interwebs for the most interesting, thought provoking, and engaging videos, images, and articles on career and self development. I’ve been amazed by brilliant videos from places like Ted, I’ve read fascinating articles from the best of the…Details
What would happen if you took a group of MIT students and gave them a set of challenges featuring word and spatial puzzles, memorizing, and shooting hoops. Then made it a bit more interesting by providing monetary incentives for different levels of performance. Low performers would be paid a small reward, middle performers a little more, and the top performers would get paid very well. How would they perform? (See video below)
The Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts was recently nominated for a Webby for their animated lecture by Dan Pink which discusses this fascinating question. What drives workplace motivation?
The old idea of rewarding innovation and performance with money alone is no longer viable…to a certain point. Studies are finding that financial incentives are motivating, if the task is performed with pure mechanical skill. Once even a rudimentary level of cognitive skill is required, monetary incentives can actually hurt performance.
So what works? Dan Pink found that motivation in the workplace comes down to three areas.
- Autonomy: This is the ability to self manage. Knowledge workers are consistently more engaged with their work when they are allowed to have some time to work on projects they see as interesting or a priority. You may have heard about Google’s 20% time. The concept that Google employees get to spend 1/5th of their time on projects of their choosing. Google isn’t the only company doing this nor the first. 3m and Atlassian have also followed this idea and seen impressive innovation, fixes, and new products as a result.
- Mastery: Dan Pink makes a good point here. He asks why do people play musical instruments? It won’t pay the bills, get them a promotion, or serve any other monetary purpose. We answer, “It’s fun, we see ourselves getting better and that feels good, it makes me happy.” It goes back to pure monetary reward as not being enough.
A while ago, Leo Babauta over at Zen Habits talked about the importance of alone time, which he called “The No.1 Habit of Highly Creative People.” He evidenced this by quoting some of my favorite people in history. “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Be alone—that is the secret of…Details