Primal Management

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Primal Management

Review in the Journal of Personnel Psychology:  

"The book is clearly written, strongly and convincingly argued, insightful, provocative, stimulating, and interesting to read."

THE HORSEPOWER SYSTEM™

 

screen shot of dashboard high quality

Here is a screen shot of The Horsepower System's™ leadership dashboard.  It gives every manager a quick diagnostic readout of the current survey scores for their department.  They can tell, at a glance, if the motivational engine is functioning optimally, or malfunctioning. 

Motivation is the master metric that drives everything else.  It therefore deserves a prominent position front-and-center on an organization's management dashboard. 

Learn more >

Paul's Blog

Are decisions really 80% emotional?
 
As some of you know, I'm a graduate of the University of Chicago, a very rational place where, according to legend, "Fun goes to die."  I expect to be tarred and feathered at the next U of C management conference  for this provocative and contrarian post.  
 
Advertisers, like Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi, claim that the buying decision is 80% emotional and 20% rational.  According to Roberts, "Reason leads to conclusions.  Emotion leads to action."  What about other decisions, like the decision on the part of our employees to work hard?  Is this also 80% emotional?  What is going on here?  If emotions are so important in decision making, why was the word never uttered in any of my econ classes?
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Paul's Blog
Are decisions really 80% emotional? PDF Print E-mail
 
As some of you know, I'm a graduate of the University of Chicago, a very rational place where, according to legend, "Fun goes to die."  I expect to be tarred and feathered at the next U of C management conference  for this provocative and contrarian post.  
 
Advertisers, like Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi, claim that the buying decision is 80% emotional and 20% rational.  According to Roberts, "Reason leads to conclusions.  Emotion leads to action."  What about other decisions, like the decision on the part of our employees to work hard?  Is this also 80% emotional?  What is going on here?  If emotions are so important in decision making, why was the word never uttered in any of my econ classes?

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Boost Employee Engagement by Treating Employees More Like Customers PDF Print E-mail
If you'd like to implement an employee engagement program, but don't know where to start, try the internal-marketing approach.  After all, employee engagement is a new and rather murky concept that is hard to articulate.  You will get much further if you simply discuss it in a language that managers and executives already understand and respect; "marketing-speak."  Your employee-engagement initiative will be re-cast as an "internal marketing" ititiative directed at your "internal customers," your employees.  The goal of this program is to create a positive "employer brand" that will help your company become an employer-of-choice in your community and win "Best Place to Work" contests.  Here is an article I wrote that elaborates on the internal-marketing theme:  http://goo.gl/CD0Vu
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Relationships Matter PDF Print E-mail

Management theorist like Fredrick Taylor and Alfred Sloan promoted a cool, rational approach to management that has held sway for over 100 years.  Taylor, the father of scientific management, was a mechanical engineer by training who sought to create efficient, machine-like workplaces.  Alfred Sloan, another engineer-turned-theorist, wrote, “loneliness, distance and formality” are the CEO’s duty and in business you need to be “rational, not personal.” 

I suggest a different approach—when working human beings, you need to be rational and personal because purely-rational workplaces disrespect human nature and throw sand into the motivational engine. This article explores the advantages of a more natural, relationship-based approach to management.


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Business is Based on Feelings PDF Print E-mail

We traditionally think of running a business as a strictly left-brain, rational exercise where cool-headed planning and analysis rule.  This, unfortunately, is a harmful fallacy that reduces productivity, profits, and innovation; harms strategy execution, and generally penalizes employees, managers, customers and shareholders.  

Feelings, not rationality, rule in business and in life.  For example, we need to stimulate rewarding feelings in the minds of our customers to motivate them to buy our goods and services and we need to stimulate rewarding feelings in the minds of our employees in order to motivate them to work hard.   Moreover, all economic activity boils down to the exchange of rewarding feelings back-and-forth.  I scratch your itch (satisfy your need) and you pay me for it.  I take your money and purchase something that scratches my itch (satisfies one of my emotional needs).  Money is only rewarding because it can be converted into a variety of rewarding goods and services like an exotic vacation, a hot new car, or a night out with our honey.  Feelings are not irrelevant, rather, they make the world go round because they are the underlying forces that move us. This, by the way, is the idea behind the booming field of neuroeconomics.


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We Maintain Our Machines Better than We Maintain Our People PDF Print E-mail

According to Gallup, only 29% of employees in the U.S. care about their work. If this were a college exam, 29% would equate to an “F.” I can therefore state with some confidence that modern “best practices” earn failing grades in “Employee Motivation 101.”

 

Let’s compare how companies treat their manufacturing equipment to how they treat their employees—their human capital. The difference is enlightening.

 

Imagine that we are standing in a factory manager’s office. Now let’s ask the manager a basic question, “Is your machinery operating at its rated capacity or is it malfunctioning?” The manager would calmly turn to his computer, pull up a few graphs, and answer confidently, “Everything is functioning according to specifications.”


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Answers to Webinar Questions PDF Print E-mail

On June 17th I gave a webinar for the American Management Association.  According to the AMA, 1,500 managers and supervisors attended the event and 146 thought-provoking questions were posted.  I answered some of these questions at the end of the webinar, but many went unanswered.  It will take me awhile to work my way through all 146 questions, but here are my answers to the first 50.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED DURING THE AMA WEBINAR
 
1. How can we align with human nature when there are aspects that aren't appropriate for the work place?

ANSWER:  The biologic appetites for things like food, rest, and reproduction might not be appropriate for the workplace, but the social appetites to invent, master skills, achieve goals, and to work as a tightly bonded team are ALL VERY APPROPRIATE to the workplace.  The one social appetite we don’t want to activate in the workplace is the self-protection appetite and its ballistic emotions like rage, anger and fear.  Chapter 8 of Primal Management discusses how to avoid triggering these harmful emotions in the workplace.


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World Without Feelings = INERT PDF Print E-mail

Dear Visitor,

As a business author and management revolutionary, here is my "subversive" thought of the day.  Contrary to what we have all been taught from childhood onward (especially us guys) feelings are not soft or irrational.  On the contrary, nothing is MORE important than feelings because feelings drive behavior and behavior determines organizational outcomes.  The most important factor determining ones success in business is therefore how customers and employees feel about the business.  It’s impossible, I suggest, to be an effective leader, marketer, or whatever unless we understand and manage our own feelings and the feelings of those around us (this was essentially Dan Goleman's message in his 1994 blockbuster book "Emotional Intelligence").


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Post a Problem PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 December 2008 23:00

Dear Blog Visitor,

Feel free to post any sort of workplace-related people-probem on my blog.  I will then analyze it using my social-appetite theory.  Here’s how the game works:


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