The book is based on rigorous analysis of nearly 12,000 diary entries provided by hundreds of employees in several different organizations; perhaps the most detailed field study ever done of creative work. Amabile and Kramer explain how managers can improve work satisfaction by understanding two factors:
- catalysts: workplace events that directly facilitate project work, such as clear goals and autonomy
- nourishers: interpersonal events that uplift workers, including encouragement and demonstrations of respect and collegiality.
The authors identify seven distinct catalysts – to long-time managers, these may seem like common sense but it’s validating to see them reinforced by
- Set clear goals
- Support autonomy
- Provide sufficient resources
- Give enough time – but not too much
- Help with the work
- Learn from problems and successes
- Allow ideas to flow
The research reinforces the popular mantra ‘culture eats strategy’. These catalysts should not be orchestrated or controlled but rather part of the everyday behaviors of the workplace. The more leaders are engaged, the more likely employees will be too.
This blog was originally posted on Manage by Walking Around on August 2, 2015.