True Motivation: A marriage of meaning and money (Part III)

There’s a lot of debate on what motivates people to work: is it money, is it autonomy, purpose, mastery, or is it something else?

In Part I we explored the issue and common opposing views. In Part II we dove into a deeper model of motivation and used it to explain how these views are actually compatible.

In this, Part III we’ll cover practical strategies that use this model of motivation to improve motivation in your business.



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Delivering Great Services: Merge the best of people and technology (Part I)

In the last few decades of service design we’ve gone from one extreme (people serving people without computers – *engaged tone*), through an intermediate stage (people serving people with computers – “Sorry, the system’s down at the moment”) to another extreme (computers serving people without people – “Error. Invalid service request.” or the exasperated frustration of millions in front of their computer screens).

This is often hailed as progress – yet services today are just as frustrating to deal with and customer satisfaction is poor. Everyone has their own computerised service nightmare story.

Why is this? It’s because in our haste to believe that technology would solve all our problems, we’ve misunderstood how services work and jumped straight to the wrong solution.



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Bringing the Citizen back into Digital Service Design

Today’s narrow focus on digital risks elevating it to become the purpose of services instead of the real purpose: serving citizens

Digital services are in vogue and the UK government has been changing both how they are implemented (using agile techniques) and how they are procured (smaller suppliers, G-Cloud and other frameworks).

With the creation of the Government Digital Service (GDS), “digital” is now at the heart of the Cabinet Office. With the creation of “Digital by Default” it is now impossible to ignore technology when delivering services.

Much of this is a welcome break from poor past practices and there is much to be admired. But there remains something missing and a potentially dangerous risk.



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Measure Outcomes, not People

I recently had an exchange with Jurgen Appelo on Twitter about measuring people’s performance. During the conversation, he said it was impossible to fit the dozen or so recommendations he had into a single tweet.

It all just sounded too complex (complicated? :-) ) to me and why bother with measuring individual performance when there are more useful ways to improve outcomes? So this blog post is to present my own perspective.



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What are the most common Organisational Problems?

In this Transformation Dialogues video, Ann Blythman interviews me to understand what are the most common organisational problems.

I discuss the common problem of siloed functional hierarchies and the role they play in subverting the purpose of organisations and disruption to collaboration and communication. Local optimisation is at the heart of a lot of well-meaning but destructive change.

Through the example of delivering a new service, we discuss how to structure people in a different way to create highly effective collaborations that focus on end-to-end delivery. Key is the role that these collaborations play in identifying waste and enabling big improvement leaps.

I hope you enjoy this video and more that follow soon in the Transformation Dialogues series.


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How to avoid screwing up Vision & Mission (Part IV)

In the final part of this four-part mini-series, we continue on from Strategies & Goals, Tactics, Vision & Mission and now look at a simple recipe to put everything together. Finally, we round off with how to avoid common pitfalls when defining a Vision and Mission.

First an appeal: Please do your best not to get it wrong. The world doesn’t need any more bad visions or missions. Better not to have any at all than do it in a half-hearted way.



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A key person in my team is resisting change, what do I do?

This is a really common problem – all of us at some stage have struggled with someone in our teams who resists change and yet is crucial to the current operation. We need them to change but we also need them to stay and be part of the change.

Fortunately there are a few simple strategies you can take to overcome this kind of problem and which will quickly lead to clear result – either they’ll change or it will become clear they never will, in which case you can move on.


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What’s the problem with Engagement?

In this Transformation Dialogues video, Ann Blythman interviews me to understand what the problem is with engagement in the workplace and what can be done about it.

I discuss how recent surveys have shown only 13% of people are engaged in their work and the tragedy that is the lost ambition of so many people in work. I speak about my optimism on the potential improvement that can be made and about the huge difference this makes to people’s lives.

I hope you enjoy this video and more that follow soon in the Transformation Dialogues series.


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