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Ever had the thought "there's got to be more to life than this"? Today's generation of managers seem to struggle more with "meaning of life" questions than previous generations, perhaps because of educational levels and greater affluence. Usually, the ones who start asking these questions would be those who are both switched on and caring and who have achieved some success in their career - in other words, people whom an organisation can ill afford to loose. The question that arises is: How do we maintain a sense of purpose in business / at work?

Based on our experience through extensive work in the areas of scorecard and organisational development, together with the latest research on what motivates people, we have compiled a list of "IN's" and "OUT's" for organisational development / performance management aimed at reinforcing a sense of purpose at work:

Out In
Narrow job focus with stand-alone financial incentives Broader organisational awareness - people knowing the "why" behind their actions; the organisational strategy generating ownership through building a company of citizens (see the January 03 issue of HBR)
Sole focus on dollars Raising emphasis on ethics - personal and corporate as well as "Triple Bottom Line Reporting"
Scorecards that are wholly task focused Scorecards that include personal development outcomes
Top-down only performance appraisals Multi-source feedback that is integrated with developmental opportunities
The stick-and-carrot method, however veiled Supporting the development of well-rounded people for long-term best results


Directing Coaching
Managers carrying the weight themselves without involving people Managers creating inspiration for people to work out what to do (see "Leading with Soul" by Bolman & Deal, 2001)
Expecting team work to happen by itself Consciously building teams that work, both work teams and the whole organisation as a team
The expectation that managers put in 60-hour working weeks on a continuous basis Flexible employment conditions

The "OUT" factors promote Down-Sizing, or the Sea Change trend.

To build and sustain business in today's knowledge world, organisations need to further incorporate the "IN" trends into their management and organisational development activities. Personal goals and organisational goals need to be better aligned. So focus on:

bpur.gif (807 bytes) Increasing your own awareness of what really motivates the people in your area on a deeper level (and we're not talking "lots of money").
bpur.gif (807 bytes) Coaching.
bpur.gif (807 bytes) Organising a consistent and rewarding bottom-up feedback system that captures and implements the ideas of people at all levels.

These relatively simple ideas will not only serve to make your organisation a better place to work and help retain key people; effectively implemented they will also be beneficial for your bottom line.

What Next?

If you are interested in more information please give us a call on +61 412 026 909 and ask to speak to one of our consultants. 

Alternatively e-mail us at info@emdgroup.com.au or use the form on our Contact Us page.


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