Before you hand out the badges and thank-you’s to all your hard working employees this week (You do engage with them, don’t you?), take a pause and think if you might actually be doing it all wrong!

Yes you should recognize (and reward) your employees for the hard work they do, for putting in exemplary performances but then again – are they doing too much simply because you haven’t done your job right? As business grow larger and more complex, managing that complexity correctly is also key to employee engagement (and therefore success, profit and everything good that flows from it)

In a very interesting talk Yves Morieux offers six rules for ‘smart simplicity’

1. Understand what your people do

2. Reinforce integrators

3. Increase the total power that people have to take decisions

4. Extend the shadow of the future: Here he talks about how people can be motivated to do a better job when they appreciate the future impact their work has. He gives the example of an automotive company which was struggling to control its warranty budget. They hit on an innovate idea and told their design engineers that once the car they were designing hit the market in three years time, they would all be moved to the after sales network and be put in charge of the warranty budget.  As he puts it “Much more powerful than 0.8 percent variable compensation”

5. Increase reciprocity

and finally

6. Reward those who cooperate and punish those who don’t

Do see the whole talk. The 12 odd minutes might just change your entire approach to business strategy.

4 thoughts on “Increase the shadow of the future (among other things)

  1. Excellent talk. Thanks for sharing this. But I am not sure how one can go about implementing this in organizations – especially large ones.


    1. Radhika: Good question. I believe large organizations have a much bigger challenge in point #1 itself – knowing exactly what each person does. Layers of hierarchy does make this a challenge. But #3, #4 is definitely a step in making things happen even in large organizations. If authority to appreciate & reward is handed down to the very ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid’ then recognition becomes more relevant and accepted. The people on the front-line know exactly what others on the front-line are doing (or not doing, as the case might be). Perceptions, Personal bias of managers, and effect of sucking-up then goes out of the window. The rest are factors that will take time and will have to embedded in the culture for the real effect to be felt.


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