Coach Vickie Bevenour, PCC 

April 2013

This Newsletter

... is a quick tip ezine for Managers who believe in "Results Derived from Within"

Written by: Vickie Bevenour, a Professional Certified Coach, PCC


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Coach Vickie Bevenour
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The RDW Group, Inc.
114 Partheni Court
Cary , NC 27519

April 2013: Human Motivation


Recently I was invited to speak at a conference for Human Resources Professionals. The keynote speaker was Daniel Pink, author of five provocative books about changing the world of work.His keynote was titled "Drive: What the Science of Motivation Can Teach You about High Performance". Human motivation is something that has excited me for a long time. Human behavior is driven by motivation and if you want to understand/influence behavior, it is good to start with understanding motivation, which is exactly what Daniel Pink did in his talk.


One of the studies that Mr. Pink cited was to answer the question, "what motivates artists?" In the study, a panel of art experts evaluated 463 works of art: some were commissioned and some were non-commissioned. The findings were that both groups were technically the same, yet the non-commissioned works were deemed "less creative" than the commissioned works. How do the findings of this study translate to the world of work? To answer this question, think of the characteristics of both groups: the commissioned and non-commissioned work. For a start, with the commissioned work, the artists knew that they would get paid and in many instances they knew exactly how much they would get paid. (Does this translate to receiving a salary?) In addition, commissioned works come with a set of constraints which the artists viewed as a set of rules that no longer make the art work "mine" but it is more about what the person who commissioned the art work wanted the pieces to look like. The key to this whole discussion is that in the current work place there is essentially only commissioned work.....WOW now that is a way to stifle creativity!


Daniel Pink then proceeded to give some examples of companies who are embracing the concept of providing workers with the opportunity to carve out some time for non-commissioned work. The following are a few examples:

  • A global software company takes one day a month and asks their software developers to develop something new in that one day. Some of their most successful products have come from these "free day" innovations.
  • At some Whole Food locations, a new hire will work in a department for 30 days, then the department TEAM decides if that person is a good match and can stay as part of the team.
  • At Zappos Call Centers, new hires go through a two week training program. After the program, if you decide that this is not for you, you are paid $3,000 to leave. If you decide to stay, you are given one mission - to solve the customer's problem. There are no metrics, no measure of the number of customers you talk with or how long you stay on a customer call. Zappos is in turn diligent on soliciting feedback from their customers and adjusting their Call Center goals accordingly.
  • At another technology company, employees are given one hour per week to work on any problem that they choose. Every two months they have a meeting to see what new innovations/solutions have been created during this "genius hour".

So here is the question for you....how do you encourage yourself and your team to find the time to do more non-commissioned work? What can be done within your current environment to promote a "genius hour" or encourage innovation? If you were to promote this creative outlet could this be where your next big innovative idea will come from?

Congratulations, by embracing the concept of giving your employees time for non-commissioned work, the innovation in your organization could potentially skyrocket and you would be deriving results from within.


Yours very truly,


Coach Vickie Bevenour


*To review any of these past newsletters, please visit the Newsletter section of www.CoachVickie.com


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Copyright 2013  The RDW Group, Inc.

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