Monday, February 21, 2011

More Wisdom from Daniel Pink: "Have You Ever Asked Yourself Why You Are in Business?"

Whether he conveys his wisdom via Blog or printed page, Daniel Pink often finds ways to challenge and stimulate my mind. He has done it again with this thought-provoking column in The Telegraph.

Here is an excerpt from that recent column:

"It’s often difficult to do something well if we don’t know the reasons we’re doing it to begin with. People at work are thirsting for context, yearning to know that their efforts contribute to a larger whole. And a powerful way to provide that context is to spend a little less time monitoring who, what, where, when and how – and little more time considering why.

Here are two simple ways to do that.

First, find out whether the people on your team even have a 'why'. At your next staff meeting, ask this question: 'What’s the purpose of this organisation?' Then hand everyone a blank index card and ask them to write their answer anonymously. Collect the cards and read them aloud. What do you hear? People needn’t recite the same lyrics, but they should be playing the same basic tune. If they’re not – if answers range all over the place or people don’t have answers at all – you might have a problem no matter how good you are at the where, when and what.

Second, keep the why alive. Once a week, at that staff meeting, spend a few minutes revisiting the question. Talk about the purpose of the week’s activities. Discuss your efforts’ effect on other people’s lives. Remind each other why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place"

I encourage you to read the article in its entirety, and then go buy one of Pink's many useful books. He is a great resource.

A Five Minute Exercise

1 comment:

Antonio said...

Good post. Thanks for sharing.