Beholden to accepted assumptions about people and organizations, too many enterprises waste human potential. Robert Quinn shows how to defy convention and create organizations where people feel fully engaged and continually rewarded, where both individually and collectively they flourish and exceed expectations.

The problem is that leaders are following a negative and constraining “mental map” that insists organizations must be rigid, top-down hierarchies and that the people in them are driven mainly by self-interest and fear. But leaders can adopt a different mental map, one where organizations are networks of fluid, evolving relationships and where people are motivated by a desire to grow, learn, and serve a larger goal. Using dozens of memorable stories, Quinn describes specific actions leaders can take to facilitate the emergence of this organizational culture—helping people gain a sense of purpose, engage in authentic conversations, see new possibilities, and sacrifice for the common good.

The book includes the Positive Organization Generator, a tool that provides 100 real-life practices from positive organizations and helps you reinvent them to fit your specific needs. With the POG you can identify and implement the practices that will have the greatest impact on your organization.

At its heart, the book helps leaders to see new possibilities that lie within the acknowledged realities of organizational life. It provides five keys for learning to be "bilingual"--speaking the conventional language of business as well as the language of the positive organization. When leaders can do this, they are able to make real and lasting change.
Two distinguished scholars offer eight steps to help organizations discover and embrace an authentic higher purpose—something that will dramatically improve every aspect of any enterprise, including the bottom line.

What does a lofty notion like purpose have to do with business basics like the bottom line? Robert E. Quinn and Anjan J. Thakor say pretty much everything. Leaders and managers are taught that employees are self-interested and work resistant, so they create systems of control to combat these expectations. Workers resent these systems, and performance suffers. To address the performance issues, managers double down on the coercion, creating a vicious cycle and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But there is a better way. Quinn and Thakor show that when an authentic higher purpose permeates business strategy and decision-making, the cycle is broken. Employers and employees see themselves as working together toward an inspiring goal, not just trying to hit quarterly targets. They fully engage, become proactive contributors, and, ironically, easily exceed those quarterly targets.

Based on their widely acclaimed Harvard Business Review article, Quinn and Thakor offer eight sometimes surprising steps for shifting from a transaction-oriented mind-set focused on constraints to a purpose-oriented mind-set focused on possibility. This iconoclastic book will help any organization discover its authentic purpose and weave it into the fabric of everything it does, leading to unprecedented levels of personal satisfaction, service and product innovation, and economic growth.
Beholden to accepted assumptions about people and organizations, too many enterprises waste human potential. Robert Quinn shows how to defy convention and create organizations where people feel fully engaged and continually rewarded, where both individually and collectively they flourish and exceed expectations.

The problem is that leaders are following a negative and constraining “mental map” that insists organizations must be rigid, top-down hierarchies and that the people in them are driven mainly by self-interest and fear. But leaders can adopt a different mental map, one where organizations are networks of fluid, evolving relationships and where people are motivated by a desire to grow, learn, and serve a larger goal. Using dozens of memorable stories, Quinn describes specific actions leaders can take to facilitate the emergence of this organizational culture—helping people gain a sense of purpose, engage in authentic conversations, see new possibilities, and sacrifice for the common good.

The book includes the Positive Organization Generator, a tool that provides 100 real-life practices from positive organizations and helps you reinvent them to fit your specific needs. With the POG you can identify and implement the practices that will have the greatest impact on your organization.

At its heart, the book helps leaders to see new possibilities that lie within the acknowledged realities of organizational life. It provides five keys for learning to be "bilingual"--speaking the conventional language of business as well as the language of the positive organization. When leaders can do this, they are able to make real and lasting change.
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