Or, how one exec turned a behind-schedule project into a gift party.
Today I get to pass along a story from one of my favorite brilliant bosses, Mike Popovich. He’s CEO of Scientific Technologies Corporation (STC), which does information systems in health care, specializing in what they call Immunization Intelligence.
The story starts with the company undertaking a major project for the CDC and state health departments, one that required a massive amount of code. But, as so often happens, there were delays. The project fell behind. That’s when Mike got creative…
As for the wishes themselves, many employees did, in fact, simply choose bonus cash – BUT, far from all. Some wanted money with a purpose: enough to pay for a family vacation, or for a son’s sport’s team travel expenses. Then there were those who wanted paid time off — for instance, some of the programmers are from India and the extra time would allow them to visit their families back home. Finally, there were those who asked for time at a resort or something tangible, like a new fishing rod.
The upshot? The project got finished on time and the work itself accomplished more than the planners had originally hoped.
Mike says of the Wish program, “It made a difference. I could see that it captured the imagination in a way that mere bonuses did not, and I believe that the ‘captured imagination’ made its way into the project’s final product.”
WHAT CAN WE LEARN?
We might talk about managing time, but what we really should be managing is energy. Let’s reconsider what Mike did in terms of energy management.
Those working on the project were given the option of participating in the final push, choosing whether or not to commit to the Wish program and the
overtime that came with it. That choice is a powerful motivator, in itself.
Then, there was that other choice, the choice of which wishes to list. Imagine what that does to the thought process: instead of thinking about the hours
or the sacrifices, the mind is full of smiling thoughts of picking this-one-no-that-one for the list.
Who doesn’t resent being told to work harder or longer?
who doesn’t delight in being invited to be part of a team
that gets asked to do something hard
and to be offered a prize for doing it?
Said another way, stop working and start winning.