Johan Book on the magic recipe


Johan Book on the magic recipe

On three occasions in the autumn of 2017, the diligently hired lecturer Johan Book wrote, to our great delight, for Mentor. Johan Book has a great commitment to research-based leadership and, like us, is interested in finding ways to create motivated, innovative, prosperous and high-performing organizations, read more about Johan at the end of this page! In his first article for Mentor, he shares the magical recipe to make your managers and employees feel and perform at their best. Welcome to dive into inspiring reading!

For the first time in decades, we see that our productivity is actually declining, that is, we are becoming less and less productive. This is despite all our fantastic system solutions, process mappings, cost-efficiency programs and "well thought out" well thought out reorganizations. We also see reduced motivation, fewer and fewer strategy implementations succeeding and sick rates increasing dramatically. But there is a solution, for those who actually want and dare to lift their eyes from the Excel file for a while. Because then we are talking about people, driving forces, commitment and achievement of goals.

So what should we do to create a motivated, innovative, prosperous and high-performance organization? Well, we need to start taking leadership and commitment seriously, and we need to start now! The magic recipe is drawn from two of the most evidence-strong management theories available, namely "self-determination theory" and "goal setting theory". In addition, we spice up the establishment with collected data from ADKAR, the world's most widely used change methodology.

"we need to start taking leadership and commitment seriously, and we need to start now!"

The magic recipe:

Clear and human in the first place
Build the foundation with a trusting and communicative management team as the first ingredient. A management team that is both results-focused and relationship-focused. Be clear, engaging, human, listening and understanding that it is the employees and their activities and commitment that will create the result. The result doesn't come by itself just because the management team says so, although many unfortunately seem to think so. Have a clear and attractive goal and purpose with your business as the second ingredient.

How do we work?
Create an organization that is imbued with the knowledge of our human driving forces and what it is that makes us perform and feel good. The more you know and can apply that knowledge in your leadership in particular, the better it will be possible. The research shows a clear link between good leadership, well-being, high motivation, increased performance and improved financial performance. That's good, isn't it? So look at the result second and the ones that will create it in the first.

Give us good leadership, please!
Leadership is the cruellest arena to create the coveted motivation, commitment and well-being. The correlation between a good manager and high healthy numbers is very strong. But what about the correlation between wellness grants and healthy days? Unfortunately, no correlation. So put the gunpowder where it's most needed. In leadership, and it starts at the top. Give your managers roles and responsibilities that are designed to lead (not be an employee with employee responsibility, that's a hell of a difference). Give them knowledge, clear goals, support, encouragement, follow-up and feedback on leadership. We humans are simple, we do more of what we are encouraged for continuously and less of what we are not encouraged for. So build internal structures that promote good leadership, not the other way around.

Engaging and clear goals are great!
The goals should not only be clear, they should be engaging as well. It got hard, didn't it? Yes a little, but incredibly much more fun and your productivity and goal fulfillment will increase significantly. So be sure to involve your employees in the goal work, the performance goals may be fixed and decided from above but let the employees participate and set "how goals", i.e. milestones/activities on how to achieve the performance goal.
– Learning goals, what you need to learn in order to be in the best position to achieve the result goal.

Follow up and it whistles about it!
The research shows that simply by continuously starting to follow up on their goals, work performance increases by an average of twenty-five percent. It's a performance increase you don't want to miss, is it? So be sure to follow up on your set goals, continuously. Agenda on the follow-up:
– What was the goal/goals?
- What has the outcome been?
- What's gone well? Why would you do that?
- What's gone less well? What do we do about it?

Build a feedback culture, but do it for real!
Feedback in all its glory, to tell you the truth, it's a double-edged sword. The feedback should be based on clear set goals with a focus on wear and tear, not the result. That is, a focus on how goals and learning goals. Unfortunately, it turns out that "detached" feedback is often a zero-sum game or even counterproductive. So start sprinkled with feedback (encouragement always works best) but be sure to lean it towards the clearly set goals.

Create security
Make sure managers and employees feel safe in the workplace. That they are appreciated at least as much for their person as their performance. No one feels good or performs well in the long run by whipping wines and being terrified of their boss or other negative consequences. Ensure secure relationships with a high degree of consideration, it creates efficiency and loyal happy employees.

Think about the main ingredients of the "magic recipe" and what goals and associated improvement measures you would like/be able to do in each area. Also consider how best to follow up that the improvement measures are actually done and have an effect. Then just roll up your sleeves, sharpen the geysers and start doing.

Good luck!


About Johan Book:
Johan Book is a little crazy about research-based leadership and that managers and employees both feel and perform well. Since childhood, he has been interested in our driving forces and motivations. Nowadays, he runs his own company Motivationsbyrån and has a clear mission, to transform modern work psychology research into reality in working life, thereby creating increased motivation, performance, well-being and results.

Johan is a diligently hired lecturer, educator, advisor, blogger and also – according to himself – an interview victim, podcast guest and he cheers on LinkedIn. He loves coffee, too. On three occasions during the autumn, Johan Book is a guest writer for Mentor, welcome Johan!