Finweek English Edition - - MANAGEMENT -

My re­search in­di­cates that nat­u­ral in­no­va­tors tend to have more vi­sion. They see the big­ger pic­ture and are able to un­der­stand why things mat­ter, even if they can­not ex­plain it. The down­side to this is that they sim­ply won’t en­gage in mean­ing­less work. This all-or-noth­ing ap­proach mir­rors the bipo­lar tem­per­a­ment of cre­ative artists, who per­form well only when in­spired – and in­spi­ra­tion is fu­elled by mean­ing. This rule can also be ap­plied to other em­ploy­ees: Ev­ery­one is more cre­ative when driven by their gen­uine in­ter­ests and a hun­gry mind.

As the nov­el­ist John Irv­ing said: “The rea­son I can work so hard at my writ­ing is that it’s not work for me.” At the same time, there will be em­ploy­ees who are less in­ter­ested in do­ing in­ter­est­ing work; they are sat­is­fied with sim­ply clock­ing in and out and are in­cen­tivised by ex­ter­nal re­wards. Com­pa­nies should en­sure that triv­ial or mean­ing­less work is as­signed to th­ese em­ploy­ees.

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