Case #1: How we respond to disasters
Rebecca Solnit in her book A Paradise Built in Hell debunks the long-prevailing opinion–at least among those in power– that disaster response should focus on controlling mass hysteria and illegal behavior.
I don’t know about you but in my experience people step up and come together for each other in the face of disaster. (Think about the ice storm of ’98, or the days following 9-11-01.)
Solnit is a featured speaker in the SLU Writers Series, this Thursday, 8 pm, in the Sykes Common Room. She’ll also join us on the air this Friday at 11 to talk about human response to disaster–and the disaster experience as a community builder. You’ll want to join this hour-long conversation even if you haven’t read her book.
Case #2: Money doesn’t buy great work
I happened to catch the tail end of a TED talk by career analyst Dan Pink called “the puzzle of motivation.” I paid attention because he was funny, interesting, and I’m the station manager here, allegedly responsible for motivating the staff.
AMP. I drummed this acronym into my head because it made so much sense to me. In a nutshell, what research has shown (and I urge you to check out the talk for more details on that research) is that productivity is NOT related to monetary bonuses: that’s not to say a fair salary isn’t important, but additional financial awards may actually decrease productivity and creativity. This applies most powerfully to people working in non-repetitive jobs.
These three workplace conditions drive the highest levels of performance: autonomy, mastery and purpose. AMP. Oh heck, just check out the video. You knew this was true, but Dan Pink says it better than I’ve ever heard it said before.
So what’s the connection between these two thinkers? Seems to me they both give us a positive take on human nature and human communities. Kind of refreshing these days.
How about you? Learn something “you knew all along” recently? Share it here.