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12 Nov


Why should anyone work here?

12th November 2015 | By |


Cover of book by Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones

Cover of book by Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones

So glad I did the almost unthinkable for me (on a day when I didn’t have to) and hauled myself out of bed at 6am to go to the MBA Association of Ireland breakfast event at the offices of Mason Hayes Curran. Gareth Jones and Rob Goffee gave a talk on some of the subject matter from their very recently published book Why Should Anyone Work Here? What it Takes to Create an Authentic Organisation.

I use some of their research in my teaching (delighted to see a number of my past and current MBA students at the event) so it was a great opportunity to hear the views of the sages in person.  An added extra was the fact that they are funny, self-deprecating and very entertaining. So if you get a chance to see them in the flesh, don’t miss it.

They talked about what people see as the key attributes of the organisation of their DREAMS and what that means for us in managing and leading.

D – Difference, allow for difference in your organisation and let people be themselves.

R – Radical honesty, tell them the truth before they find it out elsewhere.

E – Extra value, add value to employees, equip them with skills, help them reach their potential, don’t exploit them.

A – Authenticity, so people know what the organisation stands for and it doesn’t change with the wind.

M – Meaningful work. This is something I’m passionate about as I believe it’s part of the human condition to want to feel that we are doing something worthwhile. Rob pointed out that meaning can be found in what many people would see as menial jobs. We shouldn’t impose our standards of meaning and purpose on others. It reminds me of the famous story (myth?) of the janitor in the NASA Space Center who told President Kennedy he was helping to put a man on the moon.

S – Simple Rules, a few rules that people can agree on and follow easily rather than a fog of bureaucracy which is confusing and in reality may lead to people looking for the loopholes or unwittingly breaking a rule they didn’t even know existed.

If you want to find out more you’ll have to get their book. I got one this morning and I’m looking forward to delving into more detail.