Raising kids gives me lots of opportunity to remember how people work. Little people are far more raw and ready to share emotion and feelings. I learn a lot from this. I am reminded time and time again that what I see reflected in my kids has application to my work life.
My research showed that the further a ‘good idea’ moved away from the source, the original person or group who had the idea, then the less likely it was to come to fruition.
Back in 2018 my eldest completed this project at school. He planned it, he measured it and he built it. Look at that face. His effort was rewarded with an amazing outcome, and doesn’t his face show it.
This project took weeks and weeks. He could have easily become demotivated. But he didn’t. The planning stage got him so excited. He measured his electronic devices and then calculated their shelf need into the overall design. He drew sketches and measured twice. His desired outcome was for each cavity to hold a specific item, like a gaming console, a computer hard drive, some trophies and his books. This was the day we went to school to pick it up. Beaming. Connecting effort with outcome drove him to complete the project. He was 15.
When we manage teams we should remember a few things about effort and outcome. In my experience a couple of things ring true. I did some work back in the day on capturing innovation in the workplace. My research showed that the further a ‘good idea’ moved away from the source, the original person or group who had the idea, then the less likely it was to come to fruition. That’s interesting right.
Time and time again we snatch great ideas away from the source and turn them into mediocre outcomes at the best. Often weighed down with modifications, diversions and add ons that dilute the very good idea into something that half resembles the original but without the real genius of the first idea. We somehow dull the innovative part when we pass it along a chain of people for many hands to touch. I think the original desired outcome gets lost.
I also know that teams work better, put in a greater effort or even better yet, the right effort, when they understand the outcome sought. When was the last time you shared desired outcomes with your team? I don’t mean big visions or long winded plans, but just a human to human, down to earth, easily understood conversation? Maybe too long. It’s knowing the desired outcome that drives us to deliver the right effort.
Do you think my son’s project would have achieved a distinction if the idea had been ripped from him and built by another, without the proper understanding of outcome? No, he put in the right effort as he 100% understood the outcome he was seeking. Isn’t that grand. Now go and talk about desired outcomes with your peeps and get on it. And remember to leave the innovative ideas for the innovator/s to progress. Give them permission, budget and freedom and then leave the room. Cheers Le