It has been a week of thinking about vegetables. Near our office this week a fabulous Lebanese restaurant opened, and on our first of what will be many trips there, I chose as my entree, cauliflower. Now really, before now, who ever would have thought of cauliflower as an entree? I don't think even the vegetarians I know would consider this an entree, and yet, here I was LOVING the cauliflower.
Then there was the broccoli... or at least that is how it appeared, until the close up came in, that it was broccoli that was being given to our Olympic medal winners. Of course it turned out that there were indeed a lovely combination of local floral, and that the building of the arrangements had involved training for women seeking to turn their lives around with new job skills, and that with something as simple as flowers, we were indeed making a difference. Broccoli IS cool!
Then there are carrots. Much business thinking has involved carrots. 24 carrot management... carrots and sticks and whether or not "we" should rely on extrinsic motivators when managing a global, national or local people force. Should we eliminate carrots and focus on intrinsic motivators instead, finding out what makes people achievers, rather than creating the rewards we think will encourage productivity? Better yet, if we create extrinsic rewards, such as the always striven for incentive trip, how can we create elements within that trip to meet the intrinsic motivators of people. For example, what if we created one day within a trip where everyone was separated into teams, and instead of a scavenger hunt we gave them one day and even into the evening if they want, to work on anything they want, with whoever they choose - it could be two people or twelve. The only rule is that when you all regroup the next day, each team has to deliver something. A prototype for a new product or system, an idea that will provide a solution to something THEY consider a challenge or problem that requires it. The carrot? Engagement and belief that their ideas will be heard. Wouldn't this make us all winners at the end of the meal? Bring on the salad!