…making progress in one’s work – even incremental progress – is more frequently associated with positive emotions and high motivation than any other workday event”.  So says Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer in “What Really Motivates Workers” in the Jan/Feb 2010 Harvard Business Review based on their research with 600+ managers.

So what?

Amabile and Kramer go on to explain that this means that managers should “provide meaningful goals, resources, and encouragement, and they can protect their people from irrelevant demands.”

Now what?

 

This thinking reinforces and evolves our own thinking about milestones and early wins.

Recall the five building blocks of a high performing team from “The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan”.  (Yes, I know most of you refresh your understanding of them first thing every morning.  But let me lay them out for the few readers than aren’t as familiar with them as most.)

–       Imperative

–       Milestones

–       Early Wins

–       Role Sort

–       Communication

Amabile and Kramer’s insight suggests an opportunity to reinforce early wins through the eyes of the winners.  We had been suggesting an overwhelming focus on one early win to drive it to completion faster than expected so it could serve as a model for others.  While I still think this is appropriate, I now think it’s important to provide people working on other initiatives clear milestones, resources and support so they too can enjoy their own progress along the way.

Don’t get me wrong, the end game is “Better Results Faster”.  It’s just that “Better Progress Faster” will help you get there.

George Bradt – PrimeGenesis Executive Onboarding and Transition Acceleration

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