A-ha! Performance Building And Managing A Self-Motivated Workforce AUTHOR: Douglas Walker (with Stephen Sorkin) PUBLISHER: John Wiley and Sons, Inc DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2007 NUMBER OF PAGES: 278 pages
<ul><li>Let’s face it: what every manager, parent, teacher, spouse, advertiser, customer, coach, politician, business person wants is to get others – meaning our employees, colleagues, bosses, children, spouses, clients, audiences, etc - to do what we want them to do. But getting other people to do the right thing, at the right time, with the right attitude, is not easy. In fact, managing people and their behavior can be the most difficult job in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>“ A-ha! Performance” by Douglas Walker offers remarkable insight and advice on how we can motivate other people to deliver better performance and better results. Written with Stephen Sorkin, the book teaches motivation management – how to build, manage and lead a self-motivated workforce. Outcome? Greater and faster success in managing the performance of others. Bonus? An improved workplace environment, and improved personal relationships as well. It works. </li></ul>THE BIG IDEA
Beyond The Carrot and Stick <ul><li>Many bosses, leaders, managers and parents think, or wish, that simply telling others what to do will produce the results they want. Still others believe in employing the carrot-and-stick approach, bribes and threats or reward and punishment, to control others’ actions and behaviors. What experience shows, however, is that people perform best when they are personally motivated. </li></ul><ul><li>And how do we build personal motivation? By tying desired performance to the satisfaction of employee’s needs and wants. </li></ul><ul><li>If ‘location, location, location’ are the three basic rules of real estate, ‘relationship, relationship, relationship’ are the three basic rules of successful managing. Care and credibility are at the core of all meaningful relationships, including business relationships and great working relationships are the key to business success. </li></ul><ul><li>To successfully manage a workforce, then, requires that we know how to motivate our workforce. And we can do this by learning the 8 A-ha! Performance Intrinsic Motivation Points. </li></ul>
Beyond The Carrot and Stick <ul><li>As graphically illustrated in the book, there are 8 Intrinsic Motivation Points (IMP’s) that explain what happens in the mind between our input and our employee’s chosen behavior. Based on this understanding we can effectively address people and handle performance challenges in ways that payoff better for all parties involved – and with less management effort than you may have exerted in the past. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Needs are the hidden fundamentals of motivation and behavior. Everything we do is done in an effort to satisfy or protect one or more of five basic needs. Ask someone to do something that threatens or frustrates his/her needs, and he/she won’t do it. Ask someone to do something we want him/her to do, and that satisfies his/her needs at the same time, and he/she is much more likely to do it. </li></ul><ul><li>Psychologists identify five basic human needs that are the foundational drivers of all human behavior, and which constitute A-ha! Performance Intrinsic Motivation Point #1 (graphic illustration presented in book): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Survival </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Belonging (Love) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Power (Achievement) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Fun </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5. Freedom </li></ul></ul>Understanding Personal Motivation: Needs and Wants
<ul><li>This means that for our workforce to be motivated to perform and achieve desired results, their performance must satisfy or protect, more than it frustrates or threatens, one or more of the above needs. As managers, leaders, advertisers, etc, we will get better results from others if we understand the unrelenting power of their needs and work to ensure that employees are able to satisfy or protect them as they do their work. When managers fail to pay attention to employee needs, the common results are reduced motivation and poor morale – which is a direct cause of sub par performance and attrition. </li></ul><ul><li>But while needs may be the basics that drive all behavior, we don’t satisfy them directly. Instead, we satisfy them through wants – specific preferences that are tied to our needs. Our wants make up A-ha! Performance Intrinsic Motivation Point #2 (graphic illustration presented in book). Wants are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Infinite specific individual preferences, based on one or more of the five basic needs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The particular motivators of our actions, our behavior. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality, by definition, is that which most thoroughly matches our strongest wants. </li></ul></ul>Understanding Personal Motivation: Needs and Wants
<ul><li>We are born with needs, but we develop specific wants by experiencing something, or someone that meets three criteria, summed up as A-ha! Performance Intrinsic Motivation Point #3 (graphic illustration presented in book): </li></ul><ul><li>It’s clear (Clarity: We have to know/see/experience something to want it) </li></ul><ul><li>We know it was attainable at least once, so it should be again. (Attainability: To want to do something, you have to believe you can do it) </li></ul><ul><li>The wow or great feeling was a wonderful payoff. At least one, or probably more, of the needs was satisfied (Payoff: To want something, one must see a need satisfying benefit from it). </li></ul><ul><li>What do these criteria tell us? For people to want to do what we want them to do, we have to meet these criteria: Clarity, Attainability, Pay-off > Cost (CAP). They have to be able to see/learn/understand what we want them to do, they have to believe they can do it, and they have to benefit from it by deriving need satisfaction. </li></ul>Understanding Personal Motivation: Needs and Wants
<ul><li>Whenever people are not doing what we want them to do, one or more of these CAP criteria are not being met. This means we always need to consider am I being Clear? Do they believe this is Attainable or possible? Is there a need satisfying Payoff for them that’s greater than the cost? Paying attention to what our people need and want, and showing that we care enough to act so that the work they do allows them to get what they need and want is critical. </li></ul><ul><li>Caring for employees’ needs and wants builds credibility and their trust in us. If we have credibility and enjoy our people’s trust, they are much more likely to support our decisions and plans, and work with us more enthusiastically and effectively. </li></ul>Understanding Personal Motivation: Needs and Wants
<ul><li>In order to know whether or not we’re getting what we want, we must identify what we’ve got. Without knowing what we’ve got, we won’t know whether we’re getting what we want, or not. If we’ve got what we want, life is good. If what we’ve Got is not what we Want, we’ll be motivated to do something about it. So knowing what we’ve got is A-ha! Performance Intrinsic Motivation Point #4 (graphic illustration presented in book) . </li></ul><ul><li>In business, for example, we need to know if the quality of product or service we’ve got to deliver is the same as the quality the customer wants. </li></ul>Knowing What We’ve Got
<ul><li>All problems, frustrations, and challenges are only a difference between something we want and what we’ve currently got. If we’ve got what we want, there is no problem and we’re not motivated to do anything. All behaviors are efforts to close these Want/Got gaps, to move ourselves from what we’ve Got, to what we Want. This is the key to understanding motivation. Human beings are motivated by the energy produced, a GapZap (graphic illustration presented in book), when there is a difference between what we Want and what we’ve Got. </li></ul><ul><li>Gaps can be big, small or just right. For small gaps between what we’ve got and what we want, we feel underwhelmed and are unlikely to be motivated to do much to close those gaps. For big gaps, we may feel overwhelmed and not know what to do to close those. </li></ul><ul><li>The key is to have optimum sized gaps where we are “whelmed” just right for productive action. The manager’s task then, is to monitor and manage A-ha! Performance Intrinsic Motivation Point #5 (graphic illustration presented in book) - ensuring that gaps between what people have got, and what they want to achieve are just the right size – not too small and not too big, so that people will be moved, GapZapped, to effective action. </li></ul>The Gap and the Zap it Produces
<ul><li>A-ha! Performance Intrinsic Motivation Points 1-5 tell us what </li></ul><ul><li>motivates people’s behavior. A-ha! Performance Intrinsic </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation Point #6 (graphic illustration presented in book) is </li></ul><ul><li>about viable behavior options. Based on their needs, and </li></ul><ul><li>perceptions of the difference between specific wants, and what </li></ul><ul><li>they’ve got, people choose their behavior from a range of viable </li></ul><ul><li>options for them from 4 categories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Automatic behaviors– habits or comfortable ways of doing things (including fight or flight impulses) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a Backup repertoire of things we know but may not be comfortable with or accomplished in, that we turn to when our automatic behaviors are not working to achieve the result we want </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a Creative zone, which is our ability to come up with something new from behaviors we already have </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a New Learning capability, which is the ability to learn a new behavior from outside of ourselves </li></ul></ul>Understanding Behavior Options
<ul><li>What managers need to understand is that the act of choosing what behavior to exhibit is an internal process. No one makes anybody do anything. We all choose our own behaviors from our own range of choices. </li></ul><ul><li>Everything we do is about protecting or satisfying our needs and trying to accomplish our wants. We satisfy our needs by getting what we want, and the way we get what we want is by choosing appropriate behaviors. The Drivers (motivation) and the Behavior Options are all inside. Every person exercises internal control over these. </li></ul><ul><li>Managers then need to focus their input (words, instructions, behavior) so that it addresses and lines up the Drivers of employee’s performance. Understanding that once those Drivers are in place, people choose their own behavior also enables managers to allow employees to figure out the best behavior options for them by themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing that people choose their own behavior because it’s viable for them means that as managers, we need to let our people be part of creating solutions and goals to problems and challenges. People are much more likely to implement actions and behaviors they choose or help create. </li></ul>Understanding Behavior Options
<ul><li>Behavior is what we’ve chosen to do to get from what we’ve got to what we want. Chosen behavior has four components: doing, thinking, emoting (attitude), and physiology. In most cases, all behaviors are chosen by the brain as the best thing it can come up with to deal with a particular gap at a particular time. </li></ul><ul><li>But left on automatic, the brain often choose what seems like a good idea at the time but ends up making things worse. Understanding how the brain works gives us the opportunity to take it off automatic and choose better behaviors. This means gaining greater control over our doing, thinking, emoting (attitudes), and physiology. This is A-ha! Performance Intrinsic Motivation Point #7 (graphic illustration presented in book). </li></ul>Chosen Behavior
<ul><li>A -ha! Performance Intrinsic Motivation Point #8 (graphic illustration presented in book) is about filters . We all operate with filters. Input filters help us recognize what we are experiencing and quickly determine whether it’s good, bad or neutral. Output filters help us limit the kinds of behavior we engage in to behavior that meets needs in the short- and long-term. </li></ul><ul><li>As an example of how input filters work, if an employee experiences care and credibility from a manager, his/her input filters work in such a way that the manager is associated with need satisfaction and becomes more motivated to do what the boss is asking him/her to do. </li></ul><ul><li>Output filters include values that set specific limits or parameters on our behavior in order to most satisfy or protect our needs. It is important then to set and nurture company values that would create a culture and behavior code where needs are met by employees and the company, both short term and long term. </li></ul>Filters
<ul><li>One major challenge managers face is managing employees who either perform under par, or employees who think they are so good they don’t feel accountable to us. </li></ul><ul><li>To address this problem, A-ha Performance managers start with the first rule: manage the relationship by demonstrating care and credibility. The relationship required is a professional relationship that is based on genuine care for the other person’s interests, career and well-being (needs and wants). The next steps identity both ends of the problem; the want and the got, then examine current behavior which is the reason for the current Got. The manager then encourages the employee to evaluate the effectiveness of continuing the current behavior if the goal is to move from Got to Want. Since Current Behavior will keep us at the current Got, the only option is to choose a better behavior. </li></ul>Managing Problem Employees
<ul><li>The steps look like this: </li></ul><ul><li>Assess strength of relationship between manager and employee based on care and credibility. Does the employee believe we care about his/her needs/wants and does he/she believe we are credible – that we know what we are talking about and that we keep our promises? </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the Gap. Know what you want, identify the current situation and the Gap between what you Want in terms of the employee’s performance and what you’ve currently Got. Share this with the employee. </li></ul><ul><li>CAP the Want. Optimize the Gap you want to close by ensuring clarity, attainability of change required, and payoff for the employee, for the company and for you. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine current chosen behavior. Ask the employee to look at current behavior, to be aware of what they’re doing, thinking and/or feeling (emoting) now. </li></ul>Managing Problem Employees
<ul><li>Evaluate how well it (current behavior) is working. Again, invite the employee to reflect on how well his/her current behavior is working to achieve desired results, so that the discussion leads to a realization that some other behavior is necessary to get the results both of us now Want. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan to do something that will work better. Work with the employee to come up with a plan to change current behavior and perform better. Make sure the plan is clear, attainable, has payoff for both employee and manager, is measurable, immediately implementable, repeatable and dependent on doer only. Also, make sure the plan is a do plan, about something the employee will do, instead of a don’t do plan, or something the employee won’t do anymore. </li></ul><ul><li>Get commitment of the employee to implement the plan without excuses or giving up. Review consequences of success/failure. (Note: These would be the natural consequences of success of failure, not Stick or Carrot consequences.) </li></ul>Managing Problem Employees
<ul><li>Managers also have to deal with the challenge of further pushing top performers to perform even better without antagonizing them and driving them away. Again, employing the Address and Improve™ application, including the CAP criteria (clarity, attainability, payoff), is the thing to do. </li></ul><ul><li>When employees Clearly understand the specifics of a higher goal/target, see for themselves that the task is Attainable or possible with existing resources and understand the Payoff that comes with better performance, they have “bought in”. And once they’ve bought in, better performance has already started. </li></ul><ul><li>Whether addressing and improving problem employees or excelling top performers and retaining talent, understanding and accessing the 8 IMP’s in others will help you get them to want what you want because everybody wins and has more fun doing so. The 8 IMPs are graphically explained, one by one, throughout the book into one comprehensive A-ha Map that presents the whole picture of why people behave and how we can access that process to benefit them and us. Many A-ha! readers use this map as a tool for assessment, navigation and guidance as they continue to develop self motivated performance. </li></ul>Excelling Top Performers and Retaining Talent
*** By visiting the website www.ahaperformance.com , you can read the introduction to the book in its entirety and review endorsements by leaders in various fields.
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