Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Easy is Nothing

I have been reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek and have enjoyed the book immensely. Among other great concepts, Simon introduces the difference between Manipulation and Inspiration.
It seems to be common place in the working world that we believe the way to motivate people is through manipulation (carrot and stick). There has been an onslaught of criticism of Generation Y and their unwillingness to conform, yet we keep the carrots and stick at hand. In essence, we know that manipulation is an inelegant approach but we continue the practice. I interviewed Dan Pink a few weeks back and asked why he thought defacto training was replacing education in the workplace. He noted that it was easier and we tend toward the simpler solution.

So there we have it: trade the practice of changing lives in the workplace for a safe and uninventive process. 

Purpose driven companies are acutely aware of their differentiators and use them as their Primary Organizational Mission.

Unfortunately, purpose driven companies are few and far between. At some point, inspiring people in the workplace became too risky. You have to monitor what you say, ask only of your employees what seems reasonable, measure performance by job the safe thing, leave well enough alone and wallow in mediocrity. It's easier that way.

Zappos have created a model for company culture. People are now saying, "we have embraced the Zappos model".....No, you haven't! We are so hung up on manipulation that we are in denial of our inability to inspire. Zappos makes a daily practice of doing the hard thing. This is why their culture is great. They empower employees, put themselves on the social media edge, use 'above and beyond' customer service as their SOP, allow the personal aspects of their team to drive their company brand, and always think a step ahead. Unless you have enough balls to practice the aforementioned engagement mission, don't pretend you have embraced the Zappos model.

By starting with why, Simon Sinek has helped companies rediscover their genuine organizational purpose. They need not concern themselves with appeasing Generation Y or trying to be like Zappos. They simply need to know that people buy not what they do but why they do it.

Remove the dust from over the Core Values on your lobby wall. Remember what made your company great and continue to be great. There are no easy answers or defacto training...every day will be an inventive challenge. If you want to be a great company these are the things that you need to consider. Doesn't that sound easy?

Don't Forget to Remember!


No comments:

Post a Comment