HR Professional - December 2009 - (Page 53)

OFF THE SHELF WHAT’S WORTH READING Management Rewired: Why Feedback Doesn’t Work and Other Surprising Lessons from the Latest Brain Science By Charles S. Jacobs Portfolio, 2009 B Y J AY S O M E R S E T plan. Still, Jacob’s book does remind us to challenge commonly held management techniques. And this, on its own, makes it worth reading. The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life By Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan Jossey-Bass, 2009 Punishment, praise, rewards systems, criticism, performance reviews—all are a waste of time, argues Charles Jacobs, managing partner of business consultancy firm 180 Partners. OK, so if positive or negative reinforcement don’t work, what does? Citing cognitive science and evolutionary psychology, Jacobs suggests throwing out the long-held belief that people are rational. Instead, he argues, managers should appeal to an employee’s emotions by talking them into action through encouragement. Once this takes root, the employee starts to see himself as something bigger, recognizing that his actions directly affect the company. Too often, companies treat employees like they’re mindless, replaceable workers, easily manipulated by bonuses and punishment. Treat employees like actual people—by appealing to their emotions, listening to them, offering recognition, and discussing what worked and what g g didn’t—and you’ll didn create a deeper crea relationship. rela Sound familS iar? Management iar Rewired says Re things most of thi us already know but don’t always bu act on. We know ac employer-employee em relationships matre ter, and yet we do te little to change li corporate culture c accordingly. a But, while this book reminds us b why people act on emotions rather than logic, it doesn’t tha explain how managers can implement a new w w w. HRPA. c a/ HRProfes s ional It’s hard not to judge this book by its orangetoned cover; endorsements from Harvard Business School, Leadership Institute guru Warren Bennis and even Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu all point to the value of this book’s ideas. Written by Steve Zaffron (CEO of global consultancy firm Vanto Group) and Dave Logan (former associate dean at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California), the book rests on a basic tenet: that we can, as people and organizations, rewrite the future; taking what we know will happen (“People here don’t care, and they never will”) and replacing it with a transformative vision. Instead of focusing on persistent problems, you paint a new future and, like people anticipating a hurricane, mindsets and actions change and old problems disappear. It sounds great, but how do you do this without relying on soft, change-management speeches that neither inspire nor cause actual change? Here’s where the “three laws of performance” come into play. Unlike steps or rules, laws cannot be broken; you can’t suspend the law of gravity whenever it suits you, and the same is D e c e m b e r 2 0 0 9 53

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HR Professional - December 2009

HR Professional - December 2009
Editor's Letter
Leadership Matters
Human Capital
Drowning in Data
Tales of HR Horror
Talent Management
HR 101
Interview with Gareth Jones
Off the Shelf
Index to Advertisers
The Last Word

HR Professional - December 2009