Video production: Andrew Kennedy Lewis
Using threats, anxiety and money to drive employee productivity doesn’t help them be more creative or innovative, says Dan Cable, professor at London Business School. Organizations must focus on bringing out the best in their people or risk their own extinction.
Read the full transcript of Cable’s interview below:
If traditionally we used fear, anxiety and threat in order to focus employees on the work, it doesn’t feel good. Those are negative emotions. We know that physically it burns us out, it makes us sick and it even kills us earlier and yet, we saw it as a way to make money. It’s a necessary evil.
Work itself for many, many people, work itself is a necessary evil. You don’t want to do it, it’s not fun, you just have to do it because you need money. I think there’s a golden age that says, “If we need learning and creativity and innovation, try new things.” That actually could be quite fun. It could be interesting for people to come to work and say, “I’m not going to do a repetitive menial disconnected task. I want to try to something new and use my strengths to help improve the organization or improve the customer experience or improve this technology.”
I think that it’s not saying you don’t pay people or that money is not important, it’s saying that money doesn’t seem to bring out the very best in people or help them be more creative or innovative. I think that that golden age would be organizations that don’t bring out the best in people die. They become irrelevant. They become not adaptive to what the environment has changed toward.