Why Motivation Alone Is Not Enough & What Else You Need

The Motivation Trap

by Andrew Cooke, Growth & Profit Solutions

Why motivation alone is not enough, you need more…

Imagine what would happen if your favorite football team took the field and the ONLY training they received in the last 8 months had been sitting in a room. Within the room, they’d be listening to legends of the game motivate them on what it takes to win and being shown presentations of what past champions have done by way of plays / strategies?

No practice drills, No fitness sessions, No practice games, No one-to-one coaching, No individual goals being set, No reviews of previous games and No new techniques.

Impossible task to win isn’t it. Logically it just doesn’t make sense to receive valuable motivation to change without then putting it in the right context and following it up with the hard work required to put strategies and actions in place to achieve the desired outcome.

However this is what countless businesses, teams and individuals do each day when it comes to their professional development and approach to change at present. And then they wonder why they are not getting the success they are looking for, and they continue in the same way yet expecting a different result.  As Einstein described it, “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results”.

To understand why this occurs in professional development you need to look at human behavior.

At the end of the day it is much easier when it comes to professional development to be entertained by a motivational speaker (with many sitting at the back of the room responding to emails and chatting on social media these days!) than sitting down and slogging away developing clever strategies/actions in order to adapt your business. While there are terrific benefits for your professional development by listening to great speakers who provide the motivation to change and thought leadership to be innovative; the problem arises when the balance is 80% motivation and 20% strategy/action.

Many business advisors when providing advice to clients give in to this dynamic and only provide their clients what they ‘want’ – the quick fixes and magic bullet solutions. However clients need to be challenged as to what they really ‘need’ to achieve their desired objectives, and good business advisors will do this and challenge their client to ensure the thinking is robust, objective and underlying the real needs of the client.  As such the business advisor provides a balanced package where they become part consultant, part facilitator, part psychologist and part motivator as they customize their approach to deliver the outcomes their client desires.

The statistics are well known that 70% of change initiatives fail. There are countless business models on change and a myriad of great books about change such as Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. Each model, book or guru essentially brings achieving successful change back to three core factors being:

  1. The right motivation / desire to do something different
  2. The clarity to your vision / direction in order to head down the right path
  3. The robustness to your strategies / actions to ensure your team can implement effectively while in the right environment for change.

At GPS we state that if you scored yourself out of 10 for each of these three factors (where 1 is very low and 10 is very high), multiplied them together and then looked at it as a percentage you need a score of at least 64% (so 640 out of 1000) to successfully make the change occur. We call this your ‘change potential’.

Reflecting back to our football analogy, imagine in that example your team scored a 10 for motivation, a 2 for vision and a 1 for strategy. Their score would be 20 out of 1000 or 2% change potential. Nothing would change.

Having balance in professional development across all three areas is critical for success. Motivation alone while easiest to obtain, won’t get you far.

What has worked or not worked for you? Share your knowledge, share the wealth!

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Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

The Importance of Trust & How To Address a Lack of It

The Must of Trust

How trust underpins business, how to gain it, and the costs of losing it

by Andrew Cooke, Growth & Profit Solutions

Hard to earn, and easy to lose – trust underpins business and all our relationships, professional or personal.  It is a must. So how can leaders accelerate the trust that they can engender from others.  What can we do to improve the speed of trust?

Building TrustThe most effective way for a person to build trust is, through their behaviour; to demonstrate their ability and capacity to keep their commitments.  In doing this the individual needs to keep to the process of Make, Keep and Repeat – continually keeping commitments builds trust makes things happen faster, with less stress and makes things more enjoyable. This can be risky for managers to do but it helps them to build trust quickly and efficiently – especially in difficult situations.

Make, Keep and Repeat

So let’s look at the power of each step:

1. Make – making public a clear, defined commitment that is specific, measurable and has a clear date set to it.  This removes ambiguity and holds you to a commitment to which you can be held accountable.  Yes, you as the manager or leader are making yourself accountable to your reports or peers. Making a commitment builds hope.

2. Keep – demonstrating the fact that you have met your clearly articulated commitment as previously defined.  You need to actively publicize this.  People need to know that you have done this; you cannot assume that they will know because you have done it.  Furthermore, proving that you are keeping your commitments gives you right to expect them to reciprocate i.e. they will make, keep and repeat in terms of their own commitments.

3. Repeatthis develops consistency, belief in you, and proof that your actions mirror your words.  When people see a discrepancy between what you say and what you do, they will always follow what you do.  By repeating this process you are establishing and creating an avatar for others to model their behaviours on.

Extending Trust

A good way to increase trust is to trust others.  Trust is usually reciprocated –the more you give, the more you get.  So if management doesn’t trust, then it cannot expect to be trusted.  In doing this you give trust smartly, not blindly.

“Trust Taxes”

Trust taxes are costs that you incur when there is little or no trust. When trust goes down, speed also goes down and cost goes up.  This is a “tax” – and these taxes can double the cost of doing business.

There are 7 types of “trust taxes”:

1. Redundancy & duplication with smaller spans of control – if there is less trust, then you will find that tighter control develops over smaller areas, and that there is unnecessary duplication of resources to offset the increase in perceived risk.

2. Bureaucracy – with less trust so procedures and systems become more cumbersome in order to bridge the perceived gap between what is needed and what is available in providing security and consistency in the work done.  In the US there is the retailer Nordstrom, where its high levels of trust are reflected in its “one card operating manual”: on one side of the card it says – “We have one rule… – on the other side it says “use your best judgement in all situations”.

3. Politics – more silos develop and turf wars become more prevalent.  Less trust results in individuals putting their agenda ahead of others and the business overall, it also creates a “fixed mindset” where people see the pie as fixed, so that they only way they can get a larger slice of the pie is at the expense of somebody else e.g. different departments negotiating for budget allocation will compete against each other for it.

4. Disengagement a lack of trust reduces staff engagement as they do not believe that their leaders have their interest at heart.  This is reflected in research which shows that 96% of engaged employees trust their leaders, whereas only 46% of employees who are disengaged.

5. Turnover of Employees – as disengagement increases, so staff perceive roles and jobs elsewhere as more attractive which, previously, they might not have considered.

6. Churn – low trust also extends to customers and other stakeholders who now see other businesses as more attractive and less risky.

7. Fraud – with lowering levels of trust there is a lower level of integrity increasing the likelihood of fraud being committed within the company.

How Does Management Address a Lack of Trust?

1. Frame it in economic terms

The issues of trust, or rather the lack of it, needs to be framed in economic terms, otherwise it will become a ‘nice to have’ initiative, not an economic issue.  What is the impact of speed and cost on every dimension of the company; ask yourself if you could improve it then what would the impact be e.g. in innovation, execution, or strategy.

2. Make trust a specific objective

Make so it is not seen as a nice by-product, but rather as a way of improving which inspires trust and confidence.

3. Focus on instilling practicing and applying the behaviours that engender trust in the company.

It is not just the softer behaviours, but also the harder results, that help to drive results.  People need to be seen to be performing and being credible, this gives trust, and helps to drive it.

Trust is key for driving good business, and for avoiding the costly implications of the seven “trust taxes”.  Build trust for yourself, for your managers, reports and peers within your company and for those with whom you have relationships (or want a trusting relationship). To do this Make Commitments, Keep Commitments and Repeat.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

Why What Got You Here Won’t Get You There!

Why what got you here won’t get you there!

Are any of these scenarios familiar to you?

  • You’ve been recently promoted.
  • You’re in the same job you were in a year ago, but the scope is a lot bigger today than it was then.
  • You’re working in an organization where the performance bar has been raised dramatically.
  • You’re operating in a constantly changing competitive environment.

I expect you are in a position where you could easily pick two, three or four of these options.  The question is, what do they have in common?  The answer is that you are in a different situation in which you need to get different results. You can no longer do what you always did to get what you always got. In short, you need to change.

The problem with change is that we don’t always like to or want to change. Also, if we have been successful in the past then it can be difficult to change our behavior as we believe it is our past behavior that has made us successful. However, these same behaviors can now be an impediment to us with our being successful in spite of our behavior rather than because of our behavior.

In dealing with this are two things to identify:

  • What behaviors do you need to stop?
  • What behaviors do you need to change to be a more effective leader?

In doing this you cannot depend on your own intuition.  An interesting piece of research found that leaders, when comparing themselves to their peers, consistently over-rated their contribution with 80% of all leaders surveyed seeing themselves in the top 20% of performers, and 70% seeing themselves in the top 10% of all performers.  To get a realistic understanding of what you need to improve on as a leader you need to objective input from your stakeholders. These are the people who are involved with you and impacted by your behavior – your boss, your peers and your reports.

To find out more how you can do this email Andrew Cooke and find out more about the Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centred Coaching process for executive coaches and successful leaders.

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

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Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

The Only 2 Ways of Making Money

Is the whole greater than the sum of the parts anymore?

by Andrew Cooke, Growth & Profit Solutions

When we look at some of the changes brought about by changes in technology we find that it has effectively, and literally, taken products, institutions and industries apart. In essence it has unbundled them. Unbundling is the process of taking something and breaking it down to its constituent parts so they can be sold and acquired separately rather than just as part of the whole.

Music is a good example. It used to be that if you liked a band’s new song you could buy it on a 45 record. The song you wanted was on the ‘A’ side and on the ‘B’ side would be another song – usually not worth listening to. If you wanted the one song, you had to buy the other. When the band released its next album you would have to buy the LP record or CD, this effectively bundled all the tracks together whether you wanted them or not. More recently we had the development of companies such as Napster which enabled you to download individual songs – unbundling what was previously bundled together. This has gone further with streaming through Spotify and similar companies, where you can choose what you want and play it immediately.

This process of bundling and unbundling has affected every industry, and it is an on-going dynamic.

Low-cost airlines allow you to book your seat, and have unbundled all the other offerings allowing you to select what you want. So, if you want, you pay for seats with extra leg-room, for headsets, for in-flight entertainment, for food, for drinks, for luggage, for pillows, for blankets. Michael Leary, CEO of Ryanair based in Dublin, once joked (?) about charging people to use the toilet on flights.

Other companies have gone the other way, from having a series of different offerings that were purchasable independently of each other, to being bundled together. For example, Microsoft sells its desktop products as a bundle in Microsoft Office at a significant discount to the price if you bought the same set of products separately.

We tend to cycle through a time of bundling and unbundling our offerings depending on our product portfolio, the level of competition, and changes in customer needs, technology, the industry and the general business environment.

Look at your products and services and ask yourself are there other ways you can make them available to your customers?  Can you unbundle all these things and sell them separately successfully? Or can you bring all the things you sell separately and bundle them together and sell that successfully?

Aristotle said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but he may not be right for much longer.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.