Drive well: Pay People Enough

Yes, I just jumped to a new theme this past week, so think of this post as a weekend breather, because I happened to find this video (below) via science fiction author Tobias Buckell, who posted a few thoughts on  The nature of motivation.

I want to share it with you because I think it’s a good follow-up to this: The Energy of Gainful Employment.  While we happily move ahead with a new theme, we are nowhere finished with our efforts in Job Creation or our Sense of Workplace call to action, are we. You go through this with your Weekly Review all the time:

  1. You look back, taking stock of what just happened.
  2. Then you look forward, having both directional views shape a more complete perspective,
  3. …so you can do a good job proactively planning your week progressively, and with the pacing which feels best to you.
  4. It’s the best way to reality-check your goals, while not losing sight of them,
  5. …and to think about how you will team up with others in the week to come (A-Upcoming calendar appointments give you fortuitous opportunity. B-You schedule to fill open slots).

Number 3. and Number 5. MUST always include very healthy helpings of follow-up.

Two fantastic Follow-up Tools if you are new round these parts, and missed them:

  1. Be the Best Communicator
  2. Improve your Reputation with 1 List

So here is what I propose: Grab the next 15 minutes or so to go back to those keepers in our recent studies here, and refresh them with what this video might trigger for you.

My take is up in the post title: This post-recessionary economy is driving compensation levels down, down, down, and business owners, we must pay people well, fully understanding how it will affect their motivation, and thus the job/work they do for you, and with you. You could also connect this to Wealth is a Value (January 2010).

I have read Dan Pink’s book, Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us, and I think this is the biggest keeper from it for most of the work world, (though I really should read the entire book again, and slowly).

“Pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table.”

Then, and only then (paraphrasing now) can we talk about everything else (like autonomy and mastery, or other incentives). For then, and only then, will people stop thinking about money and begin to think about the work.

It pops up on this very cool 10-minute video at about the 5-minute mark half-way through:
RSA Animate Drive by Daniel Pink

It makes so much sense, and always great to have it backed up by smart research (we’ll take his word for it, short of reading more in his book). In his post (referenced earlier) Buckell is absorbing the book’s message as a solo artist/creative:

I’ve been talking about [the book, Drive] to creative types a great deal, as we’ve all faced the very real dilemma around the fact that when creative works becomes directly linked to pay, a very real crisis happens. Learning to navigate that is crucial to making the switch to a full time creative type. I wish I’d read Drive years ago, it would have made the transition much smoother.

To sum up:

  1. If you’re the Job Creator for others, factor good pay into your business model — you have to in order to get them to be a good partner for you on the work itself. It’s a simple matter of being realistic about what our basic attentions must be devoted to.
  2. Same goes for when the only job you’re currently focused on is your own: Deal with the issue of your baseline compensation realistically, and get it off your own table!

Here is some good Archive Aloha which relates to this thinking about your own business model: What if your business got sick? My own follow-up to that journey was the writing of Business Thinking with Aloha, just published last month.

~ ~ ~ Want more for your weekend? ~ ~ ~

  1. After I saw this video and had programmed this post for you, it seemed these RSA Animations were beginning to go viral — I kept seeing a few different ones. They are done by Andrew Park of Cognitive Media if you are interested in visiting his site (Mahalo to Mike Rohde for his help in tracking down the info.) You can check out RSA here: 21st century enlightenment.
  2. If you would like to see another, I would recommend the one summed up at which is “A fascinating 10-minute animated talk by Philip Zimbardo about the different ‘time zones’ or ‘time perspectives’ that people can have, and how they will affect people’s world views.” — It may give you added oomph to the process and/or context of doing your Weekly Review, as mentioned above. If you like those self-assessment type online questionnaires, find out which time zone you’re in by taking this survey.
  3. Back to the subject of job creation, here is a recent article by Robert Reich: Why the President’s Next Big Thing Should Be Jobs. Of note: He wrote this about a month before the BP oil rig explosion, and his current suggestion is that the President put BP into temporary receivership: Part 1, Podcast, and Part 2.

Discover the power of 5 Minutes: A book excerpt from Managing with AlohaD5MBetterMgr