From Harvard Business Review: Moody, erratic, eccentric, and arrogant? Perhaps — but you can't just get rid of them. In fact, unless you learn to get the best out of your creative employees, you will sooner or later end up filing for bankruptcy. Conversely, if you just hire and promote people who are friendly and easy to manage, your firm will be mediocre at best. Suppressed creativity is a malign organizational tumour. Although every organization claims to care about innovation, very few are willing to do what it takes to keep their creative people happy, or at least, productive. So what are the keys to engaging and retaining creative employees?
From NY Times Magazine: Organizational psychology has long concerned itself with how to design work so that people will enjoy it and want to keep doing it. Traditionally the thinking has been that employers should appeal to workers’ more obvious forms of self-interest: financial incentives, yes, but also work that is inherently interesting or offers the possibility for career advancement. Adam Grant’s research, which has generated broad interest in the study of relationships at work and will be published for the first time for a popular audience in his new book, “Give and Take,” starts with a premise that turns the thinking behind those theories on its head. The greatest untapped source of motivation, he argues, is a sense of service to others; focusing on the contribution of our work to other peoples’ lives has the potential to make us more productive than thinking about helping ourselves.
From FastCompany: Design thinking is a process of empathizing with the end user. Its principal guru is David Kelley, founder of IDEO and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (otherwise known as the d.school), who takes a similar approach to managing people. He believes leadership is a matter of empathizing with employees. In this interview, he explains why leaders should seek understanding rather than blind obedience, why it's better to be a coach and a taskmaster and why you can't teach leadership with a PowerPoint presentation.
Chronicling a time period up until the first units and software began to ship, the documentary describes the multiple challenges Jobs faced in building NeXT, motivating his employees and creating a polished product.
From strategy+business: Managers are taught to work with limited resources, but what if those limitations were removed? An unusual management technique inspires business teams to envision — and achieve — breakthrough results.
From Guy Kawasaki in Leader to Leader Journal: Keep bakatare in mind whenever you are tempted to think your disenchanted employees will somehow magically enchant your customers. Bakatare: Japanese word meaning “stupid” or “foolish”
From FastCompany: We know — you're totally, utterly indispensable to your business. Right? Think again: Here are 10 reasons work is better off without you for awhile. Now skeedaddle.
From Tim Leberecht at Fast Company: As business leaders speak of the “Human Age” and claim that capitalism is being replaced by “talentism”–defined as access to talent as a key resource and differentiator–many companies have embarked on initiatives to “unleash their human potential.” Those are big words and noble ambitions, and naturally they seem worth striving for. But as one of the hosts of a hackathon in San Francisco this weekend, which invites developers, designers, and other creative minds to “reinvent business,” I have been wondering: What is a “human” business, anyway?