Category: Concepts

Drop the Carrot and Stick: The Science of Motivation

In 1999, before I danced away the millennium on New Year’s Eve to Prince while ignoring fears about the Y2K Bug, a major study began changing the way researchers viewed worker motivation. Lead author Edward Deci was the first to propose in 1971 that workers might have internal motivations that had nothing to do with …

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Social Power: Root Cause of Injustice on the Streets and in the Office

Although I already planned on linking my earlier posts on social power to bias in the workplace, events in the streets reinforce the need. I believe the belated global discussion around racism overlooks an underlying factor that must be addressed if we are ever going to gain the moral, social, and financial benefits of truly …

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Extreme Effectiveness: Does Your Firm Match the Model?

Do you work for an extremely effective organization? No offense, but I doubt it, after writing a paper on the concept. Let’s try a “thought experiment,” though. I will share a high-level summary of the characteristics of an effective organization according to science, footnoted with my sources so you can double-check me. Then I’ll take …

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Melt Down the Iron Triangle

Success rates for projects as judged by the “Triple Constraint” of scope/quality, budget, and cost, are miserably low. Less than half of any type of project succeeds on just two of those metrics, according to decades of surveys including the most recent from the Project Management Institute (PMI).[1] So many of the factors in success …

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