Thursday, October 31, 2013

How Will You Motivate People?

By Pascal Dennis

HOMEWORK CONTEST - Top three drawings will receive a free copy of Pascal's latest book! (Details below)

An esteemed sensei asked me this many years ago.

At the time, I was too thick to grasp the question's significance.

I was a young engineer & manager and my core mental models included:

"Improvement entails smart people (like me!) developing cunning strategies that others implement."

The last box in my internal process flow diagram was Implement!

(Aka, 'and now miracles will happen.')

I learned the hard way that the best plans are still-born unless the team wants to implement them.

And why should they? Improvement is difficult, entails certain risk vs. uncertain, delayed reward.


There are many rabbit holes here. Often folks get caught splitting hairs: "But a manager cannot motivate people -- only de-motivate them."

Or, "But motivation is intrinsic to the environment. The leader should focus on it, and not on people."

True enough. (If it makes some people happy, rephrase the question as, "How will you create an environment in which people are motivated?")

But such questions can deflect us from the leader's core challenge:

Each team member, team, department and/or site in my zone of control are working with energy & commitment toward a shared goal.

So how will you motivate people?

HOMEWORK CONTEST!

Here's your homework assignment.

Draw a picture of the following:

Each team member, team, department and/or site in my zone of control are working with energy & commitment toward a shared goal.

Don't worry if you 'can't draw'. Use stick figures, arrows, circles and the like.

Please scan & e-mail your drawing to holly.simmons@leansystems.org,

or you can draw using free software at Pixlr.com, then save to your computer and email to Holly.

Deadline: November 12

Top three drawings will receive a free copy of Pascal's latest book!

Let's see what happens!

Best,

Pascal



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