Sunday, June 25, 2006 and Demotivation

I'm a big fan of But handing out their posters could potentially get managers fired at the wrong companies-- maybe for the best! They've got other good products, including a funny book ("The Art of Demotivation"). I can think of a few people who need the pessimist's mug.

If you're having a bad day, I recommend their video podcasts. They will make you feel your life could be a lot worse. However, take care with the one on signs of a demotivated workforce. This one is on ZD Net, and the transcript lives here. It sounds a lot like the previous post I put up on "how to discourage innovation." An excerpt:

The fourth sign of a demotivated worker is acute defensiveness. As a result of their feeling defensive, they do extra work as a means of ingratiating themselves to executives. Now any time you can get an employee to do extra work, particularly for something as irrelevant as ingratiation, that's a good thing.

The fifth sign is employees feel acute self-doubt. As a result of their self-doubt, they will work very hard as a means of salvaging their identities.

The sixth sign of a demotivated workforce is the employees tend to feel a lack of emotional resilience. Now this is very important, because employees don't want to feel badly about themselves, and so consequently they will work extra hard to avoid humiliation. Though they tend to avoid seeking recognition, they will work very, very hard to avoid humiliation.

And then the seventh sign of a demotivated workforce is intense risk aversion. And this is very, very important, because employees are so unwilling to take any risks on their own, they will tend to be satisfied with simply being an extension of executive ambition. As a result of that, they will essentially do whatever you're asking for, and really that's what we're looking for.

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