As most enlightened business professionals instinctively know, you need employees to move TOWARDS the things you value as opposed to AWAY from them. Remember, a horse drawn carriage can move in two opposite directions depending on which end the horse is attached to, and which direction the business end of the horse is pointed. It’s a simple thing called the vector inertia principle. In this post, I will draw upon my experiences working with top executives at Fortune 500 companies to help you and your employees move TOWARDS your visionings using the core tenants of the vector principle.
Before we dive in, it is valuable to consider the example of Anthony Hallowgope, founder & CEO at the Hollowstone group. As an “out of the box” visioning organization working to algorithmically deliver fine chocolates to mouths ready to receive them, Anthony had considerable experience working with diverse teams with varied motivations, abilities and appetites. Keeping everyone on track moving TOWARDS the goal of making the company lots and lots of money meant providing his employees the proper vector inertia. So that’s what Anthony did.
As this powerful example demonstrates, vector inertia can dramatically influence the way that your employees move TOWARDS goals that you have set. Here then are six proven techniques to drive vector appropriate inertia in your organization:
Have an appealing goal – This is called a carrot at the end of the stick. Because people like carrots dangled on sticks in front of them. Especially carrots they will never be able to reach.
Provide an unpleasant alternative – Fear can be a great vector motivator. People don’t like lurking threats. Consider lack of a bonus, loss of job, or time spent in a lion pit to keep employees focused on what you think is important.
Provide “Breadcrumbs” – Leaders are the pioneering visionaries who bushwhack through the thicket while their employees dutifully follow. Sometimes, however, the leader gets too far in front of the followers. Breadcrumbs keep a team on the correct path. Just remember the lesson learned by Hansel and Gretel – birds like breadcrumbs.
Motivate with conversation – Sometimes you just need to listen to your employees, so it’s important to schedule 1 on 1 time where you can talk to them and remind them what you want. Remember, it’s important to reinforce your goals in these sessions, so be sure to talk as much as possible so your employee understands you clearly.
Daily Stand-Up meetings on Speakerphone – Daily short check-in meetings to share goals and progress are invaluable. It’s best if you have all your employees gathered around one phone, and then you, as a manager, lecture them from another phone with a poor connection so your voice gets all distorted. Then, hang up the phone.
Grow a chin beard – Sea captains have long been known as persuasive leaders, and nothing says sea captain like a chin beard.
These six techniques are an important first step towards keeping your organization on track with the proper vector inertia motivation. I look forward to hearing how you have applied some of these practices in your organization in the comments below.