October 7, 2010

Metabolizing Motivation and Progress: We Wait Too Long

By the time you're ready to give them a plaque, the volunteers are burnt out.

By the time employees qualify for a sabbatical, their creative juices have run dry.

By the time enough money is available for a perfect product, the market has moved on to new interests.

We know that eating several small meals a day keeps our body's metabolism running more efficiently, yet we still skip breakfast, grab a bite for lunch on the run, and then gorge ourselves at dinner, only to lapse into a post-meal coma ... I mean, nap.

Our organizational choices are often just as shortsighted, saving up for the big day instead of making incremental contributions to what we know matters most.  So let's try …
  • thanking volunteers every week
  • offering annual sabbaticals to all staff, one day for each year of service
  • providing mini-grants quarterly or semi-annually
Small contributions now.
Immediate value gained.
Rewards compounded over time.

What other micro-investments might be worth pursuing in lieu of saving up for one big day, a day that may never come or be too late?

1 comment:

Eddie Colbeth said...

What a great idea! When I was working for burning man, it was part of the culture to give recognition at the end of every meeting. It could have been for something that happened in the meeting or something that happened in the past.

I love the idea of annual sabbaticals and we should keep the longer ones as well. I took a three month travel sabbatical in Asia last year, it was life changing.