- Opinion & Analysis
- Read Time: 5 min
Some managers are discovering that the process of purposeful play can inject much needed vitality into their organizations.
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Employees with deep motivation, strong commitment, unquestioned loyalty and widely shared values can have drawbacks. Much has been written about the upside of deep commitment, but employers need to be wary of workers who identify too much with the company. Overidentification, says the author, may lead to an ends-justifies-the-means outlook, unethical actions, substitution of personal needs for company goals and resentment when the company doesn't meet employees' expectations.
When companies act dishonestly, the psychological costs outweigh any short-term gains. Dishonesty ultimately decreases repeat business and increases worker turnover and employee theft. Degradation of a company's reputation, adverse effects on employee values and increased surveillance of workers through expensive new systems eat at an organization's health. The authors offer proof that honesty is still the best policy.
For “knowledge-based” to be more than a buzzword, managers must recognize that the concept has little to do with the kind of products they sell. Whether it‘s a cement maker like Holcim or a financial services company like CapitalOne, a company‘s knowledge base is predicated on how it uses knowledge to change processes, overcome traditional boundaries, set strategy, and create a corporate culture.
People commonly talk about the energy (or lack thereof) associated with certain individuals or company initiatives. Managers can translate such talk into action that creates more energy, improves performance and fosters learning.
Organizations, like people, have essential natures defined by their formative experiences, their beliefs, their knowledge bases and their core competences. Attempts at change that are in conflict with this core identity are often doomed to failure. Managers can learn to recognize such conflicts and initiate identity change to make their companies more adaptive.
Why do motivated managers often fail to follow through? Because taking sustained action in the workplace requires more than motivation. It requires the deep commitment that comes from activating willpower.
Alert executives are learning to orchestrate the difficult transition from a product-innovation culture to a process-innovation culture that can transform successful startups into enduring industry leaders.
In this article, the authors make the case that corporate misdeeds are symptoms of a syndrome of selfishness that has taken hold of our business institutions, our societies and our minds. Drawing on history, literature, philosophy and management thinking, they argue that the syndrome is built on a series of half-truths — or fabrications — each of which has driven a debilitating wedge into society.
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