Primal Management

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."

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?
Featured Review by the Winning Workplaces Organization PDF Print E-mail

(This group organizes the Wall Street Journal's "Winning Workplaces" awards for small business)  

Paul Herr has spent 30 years exploring the links between biology, psychology, physics and the workplace, and has proven that there is scientific evidence that employees have natural emotional needs that are often overlooked at work. He defines these hardwired needs, demonstrates how they operate and presents tools that can help create organizational superorganisms that achieve extraordinary results in his new book Primal Management.

Herr's thesis is that organizations that work in harmony with human nature can achieve far more than those that resist it. He defines five "social appetites" that motivate human behavior and work in congruence with five basic biologic appetites and argues that if organizations can tap into these basic needs, they will be far more successful.

The book goes beyond theory to offer tools to measure an employee's "emotional paycheck" and gauge an organization's overall "horsepower metric." He also demonstrates how the tools he offers can be used as a diagnostic to understand which employee needs should be addressed to improve the horsepower metric.

With this book Herr provides a new way of looking at employee motivation and creates a compelling argument that if organizations can effectively work with the basic needs of people, defined in his social appetites, they can achieve far more than they ever imagined.

CIO Insight Magazine PDF Print E-mail
CIO Insight Magazine voted Primal Management one of its 15 "Essential Spring Books for IT Leaders."
Amazon Review (Former Enterprise Rent-a-Car Exec, Larry Underwood) PDF Print E-mail

I have read hundreds of books related to management, but this is the best one I've ever read. Rarely do I write reviews, and rarely do I use exclamation points (as I did in the review title!), but after reading "Primal Management", by Paul Herr, I wanted to make sure I got your attention.

For the first time ever, the secrets to what really motivates employees in any company, anywhere in the world, are revealed. What?

Sure, there have been many, many books, chapters of books, articles on the subject of "employee motivation" written; and if you're in business, the subject has undoubtedly come up a few hundred times in various meetings, to the point of "motivating" the meeting participants to doze off, wander off for another cup of coffee, or remain seated with that glazed look on their blank faces, pretending to be listening.

Paul Herr finally gets it right, because he had the audacity to "prove it" after three decades of research. Corporate America should be glad he was so persistent, because his findings will revolutionize the way Corporate America will be managing its employees, which so far, has been lousy. But we already knew that.

Amazon Review (SYNNEX CEO Jim Estill) PDF Print E-mail

I just finished a great book - "Primal Management - Unraveling the Secrets of Human Nature to Drive High Performance" by Paul Herr.

Herr starts with a statement "Business..has pretended that emotions and feelings are irrational and unimportant. This is simply wrong". The rest of the book goes on to successfully prove this point.

He uses the scary statistic that only 31% of the employees are motivated in America. If that statistic is true, there is huge upside opportunity in our businesses.

Review in Publishers Weekly PDF Print E-mail

Primal Management: Unraveling the Secrets of Human Nature to Drive High Performance
Paul Herr. Amacom, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8144-1396-8

It's pure myth that human beings are fundamentally rational creatures—we are sublimely emotional at heart and work best when treated as such, argues consultant Herr, who contends that companies need to take a hard-science approach to the soft side of the business if they want to maximize their gains. He explores the human social appetites—innovation, skill mastery and deployment, goal attainment, cooperation and self-protection—maintaining that these drives are as integral to our biology as our need for food, sex and love. People want to excel at work, and companies that encourage that desire bring out the best in their employees. Arguing against a hyper-rational, bureaucratic management, Herr advocates a “tribal” connected workforce, a corporate superorganism composed of individual human beings who strive toward the same goal. Some fairly heavy theory is backed up with solid practical advice for leaders, including a methodology to create a high-performance workplace. The biological approach lends a fresh aspect to the subject of employee performance enhancement, and the well-researched, entertaining presentation should make this an appealing reference for progressive business leaders. (May)

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