Innovation Takes Flight

Loving the man on the bicycle….

Anger Does Pay – Big Time

They usually write a lot of sense over at management issues, which is why I was a little surprised to read an article called Anger Doesn’t Pay.

In my book it is perhaps the most important driver for change and innovation. Anger serves a  surprising purpose .  It gives us a clue, a sign that there is something here that we can have the energy and creativity to make better.  Anger pays much more than indifference which at time seems ubiquitous.

What does not pay of course is losing your temper.  Shouting and displaying your anger in ways that alienate people rather than recruit them to your cause.

So value your anger, cultivate it, harness it and make progress.  Just don’t let it ignite your temper!

I help accidental managers become outstanding managers – if I can help you give me a call – 0113 815 3765 (UK)

Progress School in Leeds

Looking to broaden and deepen your personal and professional development?

Live and or work in Leeds?

Check out Progress School

Not in Leeds but like the idea of a Progress School on your turf?

Get in touch!

Conducting and Leadership

Find yourself half an hour and wathc ths wonderful video to learn about leadership from conductor Itay Talgam.

Looks at various conducting styles and teaches profoundly while entertaining!

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Passion Depletion?

We all have days, sometimes weeks, months even years when our enthusiasm and love for life is not as high as we want it to be. Don’t we?

We all suffer bouts of ‘passion depletion’.

In my world ‘passion’ is not just about enthusiasm, love and enjoyment.  It is also a measure of suffering – as in ‘the passion of Christ’.

It is a measure of how much suffering we are prepared to put up with to pursue that which we love.  It is linked to the question ‘Are you willing to pay the price for the success that you desire?’  What will you put up with, put at risk in order to pursue your dream?  How many hours of practice, research, writing, planning and thinking?

In this formulation ‘passion depletion’ (now meaning a reduction in the amount of suffering you are prepared to put up with in order to pursue your goals) is a sign that you are falling out of love with your original goal.  Perhaps there is something else that you would rather suffer for?

It maybe a very positive sign that ‘new doors’ are opening.

I know that this formulation about suffering is not popular, but for me it does reflect more of the truth of day to day life and professional and private practice.  It provides me with a useful benchmark against which to gauge my life choices.

When some of your team seem to have ‘passion depletion’  it might be telling you, and them, something important.

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Motivation, Power and Self Interest

Leeds Photo by Barnaby Alldrick

Leeds Photo by Barnaby Alldrick

Carmine Coyote has written a provocative post which explores the fundamental dishonesty of motivation.

But I think Carmine has given motivation a bum rap!

What has been called ‘motivation’ is really ‘manipulation’.  Manipulation to get people to do something that the manager wants them to do.

Now I don’t think any manager can ‘motivate’ anyone beyond the short term fix of the pep talk.  (I think that we should set trading standards onto speakers who claim to be ‘motivational’.  The good ones might educate about motivation – but in my experience the motivational, as opposed to the educational, impact of their presentations tails off within a few hours of their closing remarks.)

What managers can do is to help each employee to get really clear on their (the employees) self interest and how working towards organisational objectives serves it.  Once this is done motivation will follow as sure as night follows day.  Or the employee will leave to find a place where they can pursue their self interest more effectively.  And this really forces employers to look at the value proposition that offer to their employees.  Why should good, compassionate, competent people choose to spend their working hours with us?  If it is just for the money then “Houston, we have  problem!”

Self interest, rightly understood, properly negotiated with others and then pursued with vigour and power leads to remarkable results and one of its many by-products is ‘motivation’.  Others are inspiration, creativity, innovation, passion, energy, vigour, strength.  But the proper negotiation with others is critical.  Blending self interests, weaving them together,  ensuring that they reinforce rather than undermine each other, lies at the root of all high performing teams.  And this is the real craft of the progressive manager.

The trouble is most of us feel uncomfortable about pursuing self interest.  We are uncomfortable talking about it.  We don’t even like to give ourselves the time to think about it.  We have been socialised to suppress our self interest and look for opportunities to serve others.  And VERY few managers build the kind of relationships where self interest (of all parties) can be clarified and negotiated fully to the benefit of all.

Carmine’s point about the fundamental dishonesty of motivation, that it is about getting people to ‘do more work for less reward’ is, I believe, a misrepresentation.  Employees who create value deserve a proportionate share of that value and this depends on the proper negotiation of self interest.  If the negotiation is not proper, but unfair, then self interest is not fully served and as a result motivation erodes.

Increasingly the nature of the reward is more than simply financial.  Employees are looking for a diverse and intensely personal cocktail of rewards with ingredients that include fulfilment, challenge, flexibility, creativity and personal and professional development.  These are essential components of self interest for most of us and help to keep people motivated at least as much as money, which is just a hygiene factor.

Appreciation also needs to be part of the mix.  It absolutely is part of the package of ‘rewards’ that most of us look for at work.  And it is a part of the job that many managers struggle with as they tend to leave things alone until they go wrong.

And perhaps we (professional management educators) need to do more with managers on ‘motivation’ as an emergent property – the preconditions for which require a full and proper negotiation of self interest(s) and the development of the employees power to pursue it with vigour.

And while I don’t think that people are any different in the third sector, I do think that the cocktail of self interest often needs to be much more carefully balanced.  And many third sector managers forget this at their peril.  Few of us join social enterprises to be overt vehicles for the delivery of government policy.  We join social enterprises to promote social justice.  And the ‘self interests’ of politicians and the promotion of social justice are rarely properly negotiated.

Your thoughts….

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Change is Good

I have just come across a really good online video, thanks to Phil Gerbyshack, called Change is Good.  It seems to sum up so many of the principles that I try to teach people how to practice in my PMN workshops.  (There are still someplaces left on Giving and Getting Great Feedback on 20th May in Leeds).

The film is only a couple of minutes long but contains so many great hints, tips, reminders and pointers to profound truths that should have immense implications for personal and organisational change.

Why not show it at your next team meeting and see what reactions, suggestions and feedback it elicits.

The video has a soundtrack – but still works if you are not sound enabled!

Change Is Good – The Movie

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