How to Turn Purpose into Performance

1077 JulAug18 Cover.inddYesterday I received some exciting news.  An article I co-wrote with Anjan Thakor is the cover story for the July/August issue of the Harvard Business Review.  The article is about the economics of higher purpose.  Here is an excerpt:
Employees choose to respond primarily to the incentives outlined in their contracts and the controls imposed on them. Consequently, they not only fail to see opportunities but also experience conflict, resist feedback, underperform, and personally stagnate. So managers, believing that their assumptions about employees have been validated, exert still more control and rely even more heavily on extrinsic incentives. Employees then narrowly focus on achieving those rewards, typically at the expense of activities that are hard to measure and often ignored, such as mentoring subordinates and sharing best practices. Overarching values and goals become empty words. People do only what they have to do. Results again fall short of expectations, and managers clamp down further.
In this article we provide a framework that can help managers break out of this vicious cycle.
Most people accept that tapping in to the power of higher purpose can change their own life.  In this article we share how it can transform an entire organization as well as some practical first steps.
I’d love to hear any feedback, stories or insights from your own experience.

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