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Monday
Nov032014

Reverse Mentoring Is Catching On, Finally.


According to an April 15th, 2013 article in US News & World Report, more firms are encouraging reverse mentoring as an effective talent engagement strategy. (Disclosure: I'm interviewed in the article.) 

Translation: younger workers (read Millennials) are advising older and more senior executives (read Baby Boomers) on things like social media, as well as challenging long held assumptions that may or may no longer be true.   So, rather than merely 'tolerating' Millennials, smart leaders embrace their knowledge, insight, and enthusiasm on a regular basis.  

When was the last time you went out of your way to engage some of your younger employees?  When was the last time you actually asked one of your younger employees what they thought and actually considered the merits of their perspective before responding?

On the one hand, not engaging the Millennials under your roof is like owning a high performance vehicle that's only driven in 1st and 2nd gear.  On the other hand, proactively engaging your younger employees opens up a world of new resources and exciting possibilities.

Click here for a free copy of our white paper on mentoring: “Why Don’t More Senior Leaders Mentor?” (co-authored by Andy Satter and Diane Russ).

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Best,

Andy Satter

Andy Satter
Founder & CEO
Andrew Satter & Associates, Inc.
1 (845) 256-0995 (Direct)

 

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Sunday
Nov022014

7 Lies Employees Tell The Boss


Why do people lie?

What are the most common lies you hear in your organization?  And what role, if any, does your company's culture play?  

Often people lie when they feel it is not safe to tell the truth and where the drives to defend (e.g.: one's job, turf, or reputation), and to acquire (e.g. power, status, authority, rewards) are over-engaged.  If this is the case, a major opportunity exists to redirect the culture to focus more on the drives of learning and bonding.  For more info on this, see my earlier blog  Satisfying the Four Basic Human Drives.

In the meantime, here's a quick article from Business News Daily that identifies the most common lies you'll hear around the office. (Disclosure: I was interviewed and contributed to the one about "Volunteering.") 

Please "Like" us on Facebook and LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter, and feel to share with friends and colleagues.


Best,

Andy Satter

Andy Satter
Founder & CEO
Andrew Satter & Associates, Inc.
1 (845) 256-0995 (Direct)

 

 

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Saturday
Nov012014

Paring Wine With Business or, How To Bring Passion To Your Work


Hardly a week goes by without my having a conversation with a client about reconnecting with their passion or mojo at work. So many "successful" people are feeling empty or burned out -- even if they're earning more money and have more power and prestige than they ever did before.  What's up with that?

A long time ago, I realized that work alone was not enough to feed my creative juices.  In fact, I discovered it's desirable to find inspiration for work outside of work. My personal inspiration comes from many different activities, including reading (ficton and non-fiction, writing, hiking, skiing, traveling, music, and making wine.  Yep, making wine!  

Last year, my friend and colleague, Ora Shtull, interviewed me on her vlog about how my passion for wine making makes me a better executive coach. Enjoy this short video and learn why being passionate about a hobby pays more dividends than you might expect.

Please "Like" us on Facebook and LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter, and feel to share with friends and colleagues.


Best,

Andy Satter

Andy Satter
Founder & CEO
Andrew Satter & Associates, Inc.
1 (845) 256-0995 (Direct)

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Wednesday
Apr172013

Satisfying the Four Basic Human Drives

Satisfying the Four Basic Human Drives  (by Andrew Satter & Daniel White)

 

Background Case

It is well known, throughout the site, that the drug discovery team is broken. They have been through their third team leader in three years. Their meetings are characterized by disagreements, hostile remarks and passive aggressive behavior. Team members are not completing their assignments or even their monthly reports. And some members have asked to leave the team. What is wrong here?

In spite of the team’s issues, when we looked behind the curtain we found a number of strengths. All the members were well paid, and were working toward a drug that had real market potential. They were competent in their respective scientific disciplines and most kept up with the research in the field. And in spite of the economy, the company is solid and the members’ jobs are relatively secure.

The most visible cause of the team’s problems seems to be their relationships with each other. Members criticize other members behind each other’s backs. They don’t trust each other, worrying that colleagues will steal their ideas or their deserved recognition. These symptoms are causing dysfunction in the team.

The Four-Drive Theory

Recognizing this, the OD consultants focused on strengthening relationships in the team. This included work on conflict resolution, behavioral (re)contracting, collaborative decision making, along with coaching for the team leaders and key members. As OD professionals, we looked at this situation through the perspective of the Four-Drive theory, originally developed by Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria. This theory defines the four powerful and innate human drives that motivate all discretionary behavior. They are:

  1. Acquiring – The drive to acquire material goods, power, and social status.
  2. Bonding – The drive to engage in positive personal relationships that create feelings of belonging, camaraderie and unity.
  3. Learning – The drive to make sense out of the world, to find meaning, to satisfy our natural curiosity, to solve problems and to overcome challenges.
  4. Defending – The drive to respond to a threat to ourselves – physical and/or psychological, our status, our organization, or our ideas.

All humans possess the four drives but different individuals may engage some or all of the drives to different degrees. Some individuals may favor one or more of the drives, such as a very friendly, warm-hearted person who favors the bonding drive, or a very combative, defensive person who favors the defending drive. In extreme cases, such as sociopathic behavior, an individual may appear to lack any of the behaviors associated with a particular drive (e.g. empathy and the bonding drive).

For most people, when the four drives are fulfilled, they become engaged and operate at their fullest capacity. When one or more drive is unsatisfied, motivation begins to lag, often resulting in unwanted consequences. Knowing this can make the Four-Drive model a powerful tool for creating effective and motivated organizations. For example, one of our clients uses the model to create gap analyses: they assess the strengths and development needs of their culture and subsequently calibrate organizational practices accordingly, in order to maximize appeal to direct reports, teams, and their organization’s members as a whole. In essence, it is both an assessment and a developmental tool.

 

Using the Four-Drive Model to Assess and Develop Organizations

To assess and establish a baseline (or: to create a snapshot) of organizational effectiveness, leaders can ask a series of questions to determine how the organization is satisfying each of the four drives.

To assess the satisfaction of the Acquiring Drive, they can ask:

  • How competitive is our compensation?
  • Do our types of recognition match the needs of our people?
  • Do we allow our people to own their work and achieve a sense of completion?

To assess the satisfaction of the Bonding Drive, they can ask:

  • How well do our people work in teams?
  • How do we encourage and conduct communication?Do well do we encourage the expression of humor
  • How is humor expressed?  How is it appreciated?

To assess the satisfaction of the Learning Drive, they can ask:

  • How do we provide and fund training?
  • How receptive are our people to feedback?
  • How and to what degree do we encourage experimentation ?

To assess the Defending Drive, we can ask:

  • How do we allow or encourage our people to defend their ideas? Their reputations?
  • How do we express and resolve disagreements and conflicts in our organization?
  • How do we allocate resources?

We recommend asking these questions formally (e.g. surveys) and informally on a regular basis. The results should be shared with all participants in a timely basis.

 

Summary

The most effective organizations have cultures and practices that satisfy all four drives. Even though people differ in the relative strengths of the four drives, every person possesses all four. Therefore organizations can use the Four-Drive model to diagnose and implement practices that appeal to the drives of their people. The Four-Drive model gives leaders, for the first time, a simple, yet comprehensive approach to assessing and developing their organization in a way that will maximize motivation and engagement and typically results in greater employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.

 

© 2014 Andrew Satter & Daniel White. All Rights Reserved

 

Thursday
Feb282013