What "Type" Are You?
During my trip I have had a chance to catch up on a little reading and explore some of the work of two of my favorite social and business "system" commentators, Daniel Pink and Seth Godin.
My question comes from a model/theory that Pink explores in his book Drive -the surprising truth about what motivates us. Perhaps the reason I enjoyed the book so much is because what Pink describes and what I believe are in such close sync.
He also tees off on one of my favorite targets- Frederick W. Taylor, the "father" of scientific management. This is the theory that non management people are not terribly intrinsically motivated so productivity is best optimized by routinizing their tasks.
Pink's type "I" argues that at least some part of us is driven by needs for autonomy, learning, and purpose. He doesn't take the position that all work and all people fit this model, but that many do. He even goes further and uses the "P" word, Purpose and suggests that most of us seek this with varying degrees of energy. Kind of resonates with the concept of focusing on what "matters" doesn't it.
If you haven't yet read the book I commend it to you. In addition to stimulating your thinking he also provides some "templates" for both organizations and individuals.
Seth Godin's latest work - Linchpin is another fascinating read. He explores that a new category of critical "player" is emerging in organizations. Traditionally we had labor and management and the lines were pretty clear. Linchpins are those people who can connect groups and individuals.
Their skills are in communication, building trust, and relationships; not sciences or technology. Kind of sounds like they are building engagement doesn't it? He even uses words like obedience aka compliance and how we built it into our work and social systems and the costs we are experiencing because of it. I especially see this represented in the U.S. labor law infrastructure; most of it was written in the 40's and 50's with little meaningful change since. If you are familiar with it you know that it is highly structured and based on an adversarial model.
Any of you that know me or my orientation know that concepts like working with people, creating engagement, and related models speak to my heart; but I think anyone in any organization would benefit by exploring the concepts these two discuss.
One of my favorite quotes talks about "employees being physically, emotionally, and psychologically impelled. They gladly give up other choices."
Maybe it is just me, but that sounds pretty exciting. What do you think.....?