Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Understand Motivation?

A few months ago I strongly recommended a book titled DRIVE by Daniel Pink. The whole idea of what motivates us has been redefined both in this book and elsewhere – we now know for sure after countless research studies and a plethora of articles and books on the subject, that ‘carrots ands sticks’ are not the effective motivators we thought they were! Back in 1993, in PUNISHED BY REWARDS, Alfie Kohn wrote about the same subject – but still to this day, many are so programmed in old beliefs it appears to be very difficult to get out of the habit of ‘carrots & sticks’ thinking, as difficult in fact as quitting smoking or any other addiction, if the general US corporate culture is anything to go by. During the last two years or so, I have been dismayed to witness, time and time again, the lack of understanding corporate heads & management seem to have for human nature and how to motivate their people – one would think in our challenging times understanding how to motivate employees would be more important than ever! Some would even say it’s just common sense! But instead, using the current crisis to exacerbate fear and uncertainty – I overheard one exec. saying to a colleague about his team, ‘the uncertainty keeps ‘em on their toes, it’s good for 'em.” – has become the norm, with no consideration for the emotional psychological impact of on-going, long-term stress on job-performance or productivity. What does this lack of understanding say about the intelligence of these leaders – never mind their emotional intelligence? Surely this is contributing to the downward spiral and increasing failure of businesses? Maybe we should re-look at how we promote people, the qualities we look for and the training we give (or not) to anyone that’s required to manage others?  I’m only asking…………..

In my next posting I’ll be offering up some suggestions for motivating people that you may not be familiar with ….. watch this space!

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