This article has some incredibly important ideas for all leaders to consider, if they are trying to create an environment where excellence can take root. An interesting point is made at the beginning, that destructive or negative behavior has a much more profound effect on performance than does constructive behavior, with an astonishing 500% difference of magnitude of impact on an employee’s mindset and mood.
From that perspective, the point is made that instead of trying to instill ‘Best Practice’ behavior, focus first on removing the negatives that are the impediments to great performance. As such, it is more of a ‘taking away’ instead of an ‘adding to.’ This is important if a leader’s first job is to create an environment, a space, where excellence is expected and nurtured. Seven specific methods are suggested to eliminate the barriers to high performance, including some obvious and some not so obvious concepts.
For instance, most managers know that ‘nipping it in the bud’ is of crucial importance to prevent setting a tone of accepting mediocrity and for disallowing poor habits to take hold. However, another method not so commonly focused on is to achieve a level of adequacy before beginning the climb to excellence. We’ve all heard – ad nauseum – of the customer service/interaction goal of “exceeding your expectations.” The suggestion is made to try a different approach, which is to 1) learn the customer’s expectations, first, and 2) just try to meet those expectations. Later, when the basics are mastered, ways to thrill customers can become the focus. This makes great sense.
Following the ideas in this article will go long way in creating the environment where your team can thrive and have fun doing so. Read the full article at McKinsey.com
by Huggy Rao and Robert I. Sutton
Leaders who aim to boost organizational performance often start with efforts to kindle good behavior, however they define it. Yet case studies and rigorous academic research show that if you want to create and spread excellence, eliminating the negative is the first order of business. Destructive behavior—selfishness, nastiness, fear, laziness, dishonesty—packs a far bigger wallop than constructive behavior. Organizational researcher Andrew Miner and colleagues, for example, measured the moods of 41 employees at random intervals throughout the workday. The researchers discovered that negative interactions with bosses and coworkers had five times more impact on employees’ moods than positive interactions.1 This “bad is stronger than good” effect holds in nearly every other setting studied, from romantic relationships to group effectiveness.