Pulse June 2018 - Page 38

coNvErsatioNs WITh daNiEl PiNK conTInUEd “If we start making our ‘when’ decisions in a more intelligent, strategic way, we’ll be able to work smarter and live better.” people rated the first scenario (a short life that ends on an upswing) more highly than the second (a longer life that ends on a downswing) even though the second life was considerably longer. This is one effect of endings on our behavior. Endings are hugely important for any customer-facing business. How experiences, encounters and transactions end will disproportionately affect how customers encode—that is, evaluate and record—them. Businesses of all kinds should be much more intentional about endings and provide endings that elevate and create meaning. P: How can leaders use timing to help their teams work better together? dP: Many ways—too many to mention here! But here’s one of my favorites. Sometimes teams lose their momentum and motivation around the midpoint of the project. Leaders can address that midpoint slump and turn it into a spark in two steps. First, be aware of the midpoint and make others aware of it, too. Second, explain to the team that they’re behind— but only a by a little. Both laboratory experiments and Big Data analysis of National Basketball Association games show that being slightly behind at the midpoint can be extremely motivating. P: We loved your keynote presen- tation at the 2017 IsPA Conference & expo! How does WHeN correlate with what you told us about human motivation? dP: Thank you. At a broad level, both sets of ideas try to use science to help people see the world a little more clearly and live their lives a little more fully. What I’ve tried to do is unearth interesting research findings from the academic world and make those findings both relevant and actionable for regular people like you and me. P: What is the number one takeaway you hope readers get from WHeN? dP: Be much more intentional about “when” decisions. We tend to take decisions about “what” to do quite seriously. Most of us have a to-do list. We’re often as serious about how we do things and who we do them with. But on the topic of “when” to do things, we’re lax. We think it doesn’t matter. But the evidence is overwhelming that it does matter. It affects our creativity, our produc- tivity, even our health. If we start making our “when” decisions in a more intel- ligent, strategic way, we’ll be able to work smarter and live better. n group timing in the Workplace In Pink’s book, he writes about timing in groups, and the three ways groups must synchronize to be productive: to the boss, to the tribe, and to the heart. once a group is running smoothly, though, you can’t just let it be. As Pink writes, “group coordi- nation doesn’t abide by the set-it-and-forget-it logic of the crock Pot.” He says that to maintain your well-timed group you should regular ask yourselves these questions—as a team. l do we have a clear boss? This boss could be your actual boss, or it could be an outside factor like timing or a bus schedule. Either way, this must be a boss “who engenders respect, whose role is unambiguous, and to whom everyone can direct their initial focus. l are we fostering a sense of belonging? According to Pink, this sense of belonging must “enrich individual identity, deepen affiliations with the group, and allow everyone to synchronize with the tribe.” l are we activating the uplift? For the group to success, their must be a sense of doing good that resonates with the whole group. What is your group’s higher purpose? 36 PULSE ■ June 2018