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We've all sat in meetings where people talk past each other or go through the motions and others which galvanize a team and remind everyone why they first took the job. We've been to weddings that were deeply moving and others that were run-of-the-mill and simply faded away. Why do some moments take off and others fizzle? What's the difference between the gatherings that inspire you and the ones that don't? In The Art of Gathering , Priya Parker gets to the heart of these questions and reveals how to design a transformative gathering. An expert on organizing successful gatherings whether in conference centres or her living room, Parker shows us how to create moving, magical, mind-changing experiences - even in spaces where we've come to expect little.

Priya Parker is a strategic facilitator with a background in conflict-resolution. For more books and insights from our authors to inspire personal and professional growth. By signing up, I confirm that I'm over View all newsletter. For the latest books, recommendations, offers and more. Books Categories.

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Reinventing the Special Olympics

Penguin gifts. Writing workshops. View all. Events Podcasts Apps. Contact us Contact us Offices Media contacts Catalogues. Home Articles How to reinvent a meeting to make it useful. How to reinvent a meeting to make it useful. As the meeting was repeated decade after decade, it gained the quality of a ritual. In the process, he has become the highest paid football player ever.

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A good measure for the success of a football league is just looking at how many people are turning up to watch the matches. And, in the CSL, that number is definitely growing. Average attendance last year was 24, people — up from 18, in - and not far off the Spanish La Liga average attendance for of 27, Could Tevez and co be the innovators that turn China into a footballing superpower, or will the CSL simply become another retirement home for the greats of the game?

Laszlo Bock notes that the results of work samples, tests of general cognitive ability, the results of structured interviews, and tests of such non-cognitive abilities as conscientiousness are all to varying degrees predictive of future job performance. As one might expect, combining these assessment techniques into a single predictive model outperforms any one of them individually. We have spoken with insurance companies, consumer goods companies, and retailers who are using analytics techniques to identify the characteristics of high performers and then apply them on the job.

With different workforces, practices, and needs, companies should experiment and learn from experience to refine the hiring process over time. Google, which shares much of its experimentation publicly, has analyzed its own data to dramatically alter its hiring practices. For example, the company:.

Reinventing Print Media

The common theme here is to be scientific: Gather, standardize, and analyze the data resulting from interview processes rather than skipping a System 2 process in favor of raw intuition. As Linda, our philosophy major, can attest, this results in better decisions. Furthermore, as organizations become ever more adept at data science, it is increasingly practical to build predictive models to facilitate the hiring process.

One major software company, for example, found that candidates with successful tenures at a particular competitor almost always proved to be effective employees in sales positions. HR departments can also use innovative behavioral and lifestyle data sources to supplement traditional data. A fundamental truth about making nearly any kind of predictions about people is that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

For example, we used the sort of lifestyle data traditionally applied to target marketing promotions and catalogs to help a major financial services company better predict which sales agents were likely to make it through the interview process and succeed on the job. An emerging type of behavioral data relevant to HR is sociometric data. Sociometric badges are recording devices capable of measuring patterns of nonverbal communication and team interaction.

For example, sociometric data have been found to be predictive of which call-center conversations are likely to end well, which doctors are relatively likely to be sued for malpractice hint: patients sue likeable doctors less frequently , and which banking employees are likely to sell the most products and services. Tribal wisdom and fast thinking might advise that we just hunker down and do our work, but data-rich slow thinking tells us to take some extra time, meet our colleagues, and build a network of partners in the organization.

A core theme of classical economics is that once an Econ has logically calculated the optimal choice, he or she acts on it without hesitation. Consider the challenge of getting people to use the stairs at work. If the office stairs are stylish and centrally located think of the set in the later seasons of Mad Men 25 , while the elevator is nondescript and requires a key card to use, people are likely to use the stairs more often than were the arrangement reversed. This encourages exercise, gives people a chance to move around, and even creates a more open work environment.

Similar research has shown that people with more light in their workspace were happier and more collaborative than those in dimmer offices. While some view choice architecture as a form of Big Brother central planning—and yes, it can be abused along such lines—its inspiration is rooted in user-centric design. As it happens, one of the greatest choice-architecture success stories resides in the HR domain: prompting employees to save more for retirement. Yet the effects can be huge: An early study reported participation jumping from 49 percent to 86 percent. When one thinks along these lines, any number of workplace choice-architecture applications—both actual and eminently plausible—leap to mind:.

As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives. The third principle of behavioral economics is that Humans, unlike textbook Econs, are motivated by factors other than economic self-interest. We also value peer recognition, respect, freedom to contribute, and the sense of self-esteem—not just a bigger paycheck. Yet many core management and HR practices bonuses, pay for performance, merit raises, performance ratings, potential ratings, high-potential lists, economic consequences for not reaching goals are based on the idea that people work harder and produce more output in exchange for money and positional power.

Economics of sports industry

Psychologists call such carrot-and-stick tactics extrinsic motivation. He or she is likely to be insulted, and may never invite you back again. A well-known experiment suggests why. Furthermore, the damage was lasting: The higher level of tardiness remained even after the fines were lifted. Think about the potential impact of a pay-for-performance program. A number of studies have shown that when we crowd out intrinsic motivation with pay, we end up with poor service quality for example, focusing on time per call instead of customer satisfaction , poor product quality for example, rushing products through the production line , and even poor health outcomes.

What can HR teams do to promote intrinsic motivations? We suggest two fundamental actions.

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Second: Test everything. Psychologist Barry Schwartz is eloquent on this point:.

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  • We want work that is challenging and engaging, that enables us to exercise some discretion and control over what we do, and that provides us opportunities to learn and grow. We want to work with colleagues we respect and with supervisors who respect us. Most of all, we want work that is meaningful—that makes a difference to other people and thus ennobles us in at least some small way. Such principles are often honored more in the breach than in the observance. But successful organizations increasingly exemplify them in their practices:. Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile points out that finding the right mix of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards can be tricky.

    The company found that the program inadvertently celebrated money above other values and pleased almost no one. People in vital but back-office roles knew they had little chance of winning, near-winners experienced excruciating cases of loss aversion, and even many of the winners were disappointed by smaller rewards than they expected. Learning from this experience, Google has shifted from providing monetary rewards to experiential rewards such as gifts and dinners out. Performance management should be a big area of focus: Research shows that simply rating people reduces their self-esteem and creates animosity and competition among peers.

    Yet absence of feedback also causes problems—it makes people feel uncertain and nervous. The right balance is work-relevant feedback that is frequent, informative, and constructive. After six months, managers plan to look at how each group performed, to see which one delivered the highest output measured by employee performance, engagement, retention, and learning. Consider one of the biggest issues businesses face today: corporate scandals and the increasing need for regulation in almost every industry.

    HR professionals—the architects and designers of the people and management processes by which we work—play a crucial role in their organizations. Similarly, HR departments should be testing new ideas to see what policies, programs, and messages best motivate people. HR owns the choice architecture of the workplace and should design it carefully, iterating and using data wherever possible. Culture, engagement, and retention of people are the foremost issues on the minds of business and HR leaders. Cover image by: Jon Krause. See something interesting?

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