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Submitted by brian_t_watkins on


I gave this book to one of my team to read and he spoke positively about it. I decided to read it and am somewhat torn. I can see the benefits of the changes in motivation and in using rewards and punishments appropriately. I've seen first hand in our company how our incentive system has created more long term damage than short term good.

However, it seems to fly in the face of several principles of MT. For example, the book proposes letting the staff really control their time, tasks, and teams. Yet MT talks constantly about the fact that professionals do what is effective, not what we like to do.

Overall, the book is a great thought starter, but I'm not ready to run out and implement any of the ideas in my team. In fact, the thing that most disappointed me about the book was the lack of solid ways to implement and execute. Interesting theories, but not much on application.

I'm interested to hear other's thoughts.

jsjdn2's picture
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I just heard about this today and am very curious.

The only practical application mentioned was the Austrailian Software Company called Atlassian who constrained it for 1 day a quarter or 1/60th of the time (assuming 20 days a month over 3 months).  This one day feeds the human craving for Automy, Mastery, and Purpose.  Then like an agile ceremony they have a party and show results the day after.  They claim to have come up with a lot of software fixes and new product ideas.

I wonder if it was part of annual goal setting process, allocated a %, regularly discussed in the last 10 minutes of 1:1, given an hour a week or 1/40th of payroll (assuming a 40 hour work week) for Automy, Mastery and Purpose.  During annual review it was 1 compoonent of your work product that you would be evaluated on.  If you come this far with me, then what if it was categorically constrained as well, community service, process improvement, new product or service, etc (keep it constrained to these 3 categories).  Then at the end of the following year measure what the return on investment was with community, money/time saved on process improvement, revenue/margin/profit made from new product or service offering, tax money saved thru community service projects.  If the value could be quantified to be greater than 1/20th (assuming a conservative 40 hr work week) of payroll cost, I'm inferring that measurement would include a cost so that is why I'm convseravtively doubling 1/40 to indicate the break even point.

I would be very interested to hear what Mark, Mike, Wendy, Sara or Kate might have to say on the matter or be pointed to where they have already said in "we have a podcast for that". 

Jollymom's picture

You should have an idea about the content of the book before giving it to your staff. As a remedy, talk to your staff and discuss the matters mentioned on the book that you are against. Come up with an explanation why you don't want the staffs control their time, task and teams.