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Larry Reynolds, managing partner

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The more you pay the worse they do?

by Larry Reynolds on November 21, 2014

You’ve probably already come across Dan Pink’s book Drive, and what it says about motivation. If you haven’t, you can find a great ten-minute video summary here.

Here’s one of the most surprising things about motivation. If you are asking someone to do a very basic, mundane, low skill job, performance related pay works – the more you pay, the better they do. But as soon as a job requires any level of skill, judgement or creativity, paying people more makes them do a worse job. Perhaps this explains why those investment bankers with their huge bonuses wrecked the world’s financial systems a few years ago.

So what does motivate people? Well, everyone’s different, but three key factors are autonomy, mastery and purpose. If believe that what you’re doing is worthwhile (purpose), you have the skills to do it well (mastery) and you’re left to do it in your own way (autonomy) chances are you’ll be highly motivated.

How can you use this insight to motivate the people you work with this week?

If you get these wrong, what else are you getting wrong?

November 10, 2014

What do these three phrases have in common? Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well Play it again Sam It’s life Jim, but not as we know it. They’re all misquotations. But repetition has convinced many people that they are true.  This may not matter much when it comes to fictional characters, but it matters […]

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Is challenging strengths more powerful than challenging weaknesses?

November 3, 2014

Let’s say you want to challenge someone to be more prepared for meetings. You could say: “When you turn up for a meeting without having read the briefing papers, I have to spend time bringing you up to speed, and this means we have less time on decision making.” This is the classic ‘challenging weaknesses’ […]

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Four easy things to support your team’s performance

October 27, 2014

Most people respond pretty well to a bit of positive support. Here are four easy things you can do. Give a piece of specific positive feedback – not just “well done”, but “when you did X, the positive effects were Y” Make a small gesture of support. Sending a handwritten note, or taking the time […]

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Are you the kind of leader you need to be?

October 17, 2014

Here are four kinds of leader: Type 1 – The absent leader. “I hardly ever see him, and when I do, he only ever talks about the next thing I have to do.” Type 2 – The supportive leader. “She takes time to give me positive feedback, and helps me to do my job better.” […]

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