Base all aspects of work on one simple principle: "Attend to folks' needs". When everyone is onboard with this principle, everthing else simply falls into place.
How to create the environment for powerful intrisic motivations to flourish? It's not possible to "make" people motivated, but it is possible to create conditions within which motivation can flourish. Few are the organisations that understand how to do this.
The Antimatter Principle is the simplest universal principle that could possibly work:
“Attend to folks’ needs.”
The power of this simplification may not be immediately apparent, so please allow me to briefly explain.
Meaning, “pay attention to”. In a complicated or complex group endeavour, we have the opportunity to pay attention to many things. What we pay attention to determines what gets done. Traditionally, these kinds of endeavour might pay attention to value, flow, cost, quality, customers or profits – to name just a few. But if we accept that people are central to this kind of work, then all these typical foci pale into insignificance alongside folks and their needs.
Meaning, everyone involved. Complex group endeavours typically involve lots of people. Not just the “doers”, but the “sponsors”, the “buyers”, and a whole host of other sub-groups and individuals. Some folks will obviously be in the frame from the get-go, many other folks will only come into view as the endeavour unfolds.
This reminds us that we’re working for and with people, and all people have needs, deep emotional needs - many of these tragically unmet. Needs are the universal lingua franca of the human race. Sadly, much too often overlooked or down-played. What people enjoy more than anything else is willingly contributing to each other’s wellbeing, and helping each other get their needs met is joyfully fulfilling.
Expecting folks to subjugate their personal needs for the Man’s coin is not only naive, but flies in the face of decades of research.
The Antimatter Principle asks us to remember to listen our own deeper needs – and to those of others – and to identify and clearly articulate what “is alive in us”. Through its implicit emphasis on deep listening – to ourselves as well as others – the Antimatter Principle fosters respect, attentiveness and empathy, and engenders a mutual desire to give from the heart. This is oh so simple, yet powerfully transformative.
The Antimatter Principle replaces the prevailing Command-and-Control principle in our organisations, and liberates everyone to find joy in working together.
Humane Relationships. Flourishing of the human spirit. Widespread well-being for everyone, from employees and staff, through customers and suppliers, to society at large. More engaged people, leading to hugely more effective organisations and more successful businesses. An end to factionalism and self-serving behaviours.
Folks are not well-prepared to attend to folks' needs - either their own or others'. Organisational systems, policies and procedures do not currently place folks' needs at their core. The Analytic a.k.a. Mechanistic mindset prevailing in most organisations today sees people as cogs in a great machine, not as individuals with emotions and needs.
Introduce the idea of Nonviolence - in the form of e.g. Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication. Build a familiarity and capability for skilled dialogue. Grow some internal organisational therapists. Discuss widely the assumptions upon which businesses are built, the nature of today's business environment, and which assumptions no longer serve beneficially in today's business environment. Get everone involved in creating an explicit business doctrine which captures and disseminates these discussions - and their evolution.