Provocative Propositions

In the hyperactive and challenging world in which we all live, it is becoming harder and harder for business leaders to find time to read, reflect and gain insight from the many valuable sources at our disposal.

In "Provocative Propositions", The Beacon Group attempts to fill that void by offering our opinion, often rather pointed, on a wide array of issues we believe are relevant to leading a modern organization.

The articles are catalogued into 12 categories so you can quickly and easily find a topic of particular interest. We then offer three easy steps under the heading "In Our Opinion" to help business leaders take action on the key themes.

Simply click on the category and read away.

Intrinsic Motivation
The sad reality is people often put more passion, creativity, and thought into their “hobbies” than they do their actual work.

The question is – why?

The fact is – most employees in companies are giving far less than the 100% effort that is expected of them.

The problem is – this shortfall of productivity is costing organizations far more than the actual loss in revenue, it’s costing them the “next big thing”.

The Outcome is – thousands of employees working for a paycheque, just showing up everyday.

The Solution is - for organizations to step back, understand what motivates people, and tap into, or better yet unleash this discretionary effort and watch the organization soar.

Howard Shultz had it right

More important than customer service experience, more important than a social security number, more important than the need for a minimum wage job was a love for coffee. When Howard Shultz, founder and CEO of Starbucks was hiring new employees, the most important quality he looked for was a love for coffee. He knew that if people truly loved what they did, they would no doubt do it better.

Whether that same approach is still a focus for the company, the underlying reality was that Howard knew what most other companies didn’t – intrinsic motivation is a powerful force.

Why else would people get up at 6 am on a Saturday morning in February to run 10K? Most people aren’t professional runners, but they did love it.
Does your organization have a focus on hiring people who love what you have to offer?

Motivation 2.0

In his latest book Drive, author Daniel Pink states that business has missed the reality of intrinsic motivation, and in order to succeed in today’s business world, they had better tap into what he calls “Motivation 2.0” which accounts for how we organize what we do; how we think about what we do; and how we do what we do.

The problem is, most organizations are organized through incentives, when in reality these don’t work over the long term, unless the incentives are increased, which over time becomes a costly endeavor for essentially diminishing returns.

120% Effort

Daniel Pink goes on to argue that organizations must first move to Motivation 2.0, which is in and of itself a difficult task to get the full 100% effort from their people. However, once that is established he argues that there is another source of motivation on the horizon, Motivation 3.0.

Motivation 3.0 is the real differentiator. Only a few organizations will ever reach this state. It is driven by three components;
  • To learn
  • To create, and
  • To better the world

If these needs can be fulfilled, then your organization has no upper limit. If your organization can reach Motivation 3.0, then you can truly expect to receive 120% effort from each and every employee.

In Our Opinion
The Beacon Group’s Keys to Moving from Motivation 1.0 to 3.0

Start a dialogue – your organization started with a singular, noble purpose. Do you know what that is? Is it still applicable? If so, it’s time to tell that story to your employees, and get their buy in.

Loosen the controls – when your employees every waking moment is watched, and/or monitored, there is no room to grow naturally. Trust your employees, and watch the bright ideas spring up.

Build the right culture – once your organizational culture starts to shift towards Motivation 3.0, find ways of qualifying appropriate habits and behaviors and create hiring, and promotion programs that nurture those who live these criteria.
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