Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Quick Tips from the book “Drive”

“Carrots and sticks are so last century.  Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery & purpose.”

That’s the “Twitter Summary” – provided by the author himself – of Daniel Pink’s most recent book, Drive.  It’s a good summary, but here are my take-aways along with some of my interpretation added in.

Most organizations today are run like factories were 100 years ago.  This is not a fit for today’s work or workforce.  Pink argues that successful organizations today will seek to fulfill the intrinsic motivations of their workforce – what they care about.

To do this, organizations first have to be clear on what their purpose is.  Why does the organization exist?  For for-profit organizations it has to be a purpose bigger than making money.  Then people need to see a connection between their personal purpose and the organization’s purpose.  Leaders need to help people on their team draw these connections.

Next, people need to be given an opportunity to develop mastery in an arena of their work.  For me, this is what the folks at Gallup have been saying for years about matching people into jobs where they can use their natural talents.  You can read more about this in StrengthsFinder 2.0.

Finally, once people are working for an organization where they see they can advance their personal purpose and they have a job that fits their talents, let them loose and give them autonomy.  A key here is to identify the results, the outcomes, that they person is responsible for producing.  Pink gives examples of workplaces that have become ROWE organizations – Results-Only Work Environment.  This is again consistent with the Gallup approach which you can read about in First, Break All the Rules and ways to set outcomes are also brilliantly explained in Doug Smith’s book, Make Success Measurable.   

Focus your management efforts on connecting to people’s purpose, helping them develop mastery, and giving them autonomy.  You will make even more of a Mission Impact this way.

So there’s a summary of one book you don’t have time to read and a suggestion of three more to read once you do make the time.  Let me know what you think of any of these if you have read them!

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