Monday, November 15, 2010

The Importance of Purpose

The video below is an amazing presentation by Dan Pink and RSA Animate.  Dan's point is that by giving people autonomy, freedom to master skills and freedom to pursue an organizations purpose you will get much better results than by offering large financial awards for success.

What does this mean for Community Engagement incentives?  How should we be motivating people?

Interesting advice based on study from Dan Pink is "Pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table. Pay people enough so that they aren't thinking about money, they are thinking about the work."
Watch the RSA Animate Video to See
This Drawn Along with the Speech

Dan Pink says people work better when given "Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose".  He makes the point that people want to do a good job so if you get out of their way, they more often than not, will!  He makes the point that people seek to learn new skills.  As a boss you want your employees to be more skillful.  So, let people build new skills.  Finally as Gordon Gekko says "Greed is good" but Dan says when greed is not attached to the company's purpose "Bad things happen".

I took from this that PURPOSE and CULTURE are king.  Create a culture that is focused around purpose and people will keep the agenda moving forward.

Purpose needs to drive financial decisions.  Too often I have seen companies waste time and kill culture by not wanting to "lose" money on an investment.  Sometime the investment is dead software that they don't want to scrap because "We have too much invested already".  Other times it is employees asking to go to a conference to learn and connect with people and it is seen as a vacation or waste to supervisors or a burden on their time because they will need to find coverage.

Too often I have seen companies "save" money with decisions that didn't make sense to the supposed purpose of the company.  More with less is the concept many people are faced with each day.  But, when did this become the purpose of a company?  If the purpose of a company is great customer service and results oriented problem solving is an automated call center the right solution?  Just sayin!

What is your purpose and what is your primary driver?  Do they match?

Looking forward to your responses.