Monday, September 25, 2006

The Power of Ordinary Practices

[20 September 2006 - Harvard Business School Working Knowledge] Teresa M. Amabile's research centers on how the work environment can influence the motivation, creativity, and performance of individuals and teams. A recent study focused on the influence of team leaders on these factors. Professor Amabile and New Business publisher Mike Roberts recently discussed her research. ... Seemingly mundane things that managers do can have great impact on their workers, says Professor Teresa Amabile. In this conversation with Professor Mike Roberts, she updates her ongoing research on creativity in the workplace by investigating how people's intense inner work lives affect their productivity—and how managers can encourage production. Key concepts include:
* Emotions, motivations, and perceptions about work permeate an employee's daily experience and affect performance.
* There are five specific leader behaviors that create a positive influence on people's feelings, and three that have a negative impact.
* Leaders must understand how ordinary, seemingly mundane things they do or say carry great influence on workers—so "sweat the small stuff."

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