Excellent!! I’m bookmarking thersa.org as it looks to be an amazing web site, maybe it’ll even supplant my current favorite site ted.com …
With a little massaging, this concept could be made into a more marketable maxim(book?): The three C’s of good management: Challenge, Conquer, and Contribute. Provide a challenging environment in which employees may conquer the task and contribute their knowledge both internally and externally.
I don’t believe the heart of this lecture to be a completely unique idea. Maybe it just took academia 100 years to catch on. After all, the industrial revolution was founded on an alternate conclusion. Perhaps Henry Ford’s thought process went something like this:
If we reduce cognitive problems to mechanical ones, we may continue to use the profit motive to increase productivity. This might ultimately be less costly than manufacturing creative outlets that provide challenge, mastery, and empowerment because we could leverage the overabundance in the market of unskilled labor…. And the assembly line is born.
I think this 3 C’s (if I may) approach to management may extend the life of the current model, but I don’t think it’s going far enough to fix it. I think ultimate power is derived from ownership. Not only of the task, but of the organization itself. If democracy is so coveted in America, why is there virtually no place for it in industry? It’s because employees have no real stake in the company. The 3 C’s still treats people like horses, it just gives them a better stable and more room to run.