Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Tyranny Of Freedom?

The long months of sitting in a dusty library for twelve hours a day reading for my dissertation (topic: autonomous motivation in an IT service management organisation) had taken their toll. Actually I’m doing a huge disservice to Sheffield University’s library (or to use its correct title Information Commons): it’s not dusty in the slightest, it’s a sparkling new, modern construction designed for the 21st century. The building is environmentally friendly, spacious and light and is packed with nifty little Sun Ray kiosk workstations alongside normal PCs. It has even won awards for being such a cool construction.

Anyway, the point is that I had spent a great deal of time inactive and sedentary - sitting on my gluteus maximus if you like. The pounds were piling up and I was feeling decidedly unhealthy so I joined a gym. This too is a nice 21st century affair – I love the way all the cardio-vascular machines have LCD monitors on the top so that while I’m cross-training I can flick between the cricket and football (sorry, that’s soccer for you guys across the Atlantic). I also rather ashamedly spend a lot of time watching pop videos and am amazed by the awfulness of many (Calvin Harris and a few others excepted).

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

How To Motivate (#1 in a series of 4)

Make things fun:

The technical term is intrinsic motivation. This is motivation that is based on the sheer enjoyment of performing the task. A large body of interesting research exists which suggests factors that diminish and sustain this type of motivation (e.g. Deci, Koestner & Ryan, 1999).

Clearly this type of motivation is relatively easy to generate. Someone loves coding? They're gonna be motivated to do it (see open source projects). Of course is isn't always that simple. What if there's an activity that people find boring? For example some convoluted, tedious process activity. Well (to paraphrase Apple), there's a technique for that.

However you'll have to wait for number 2 in the series...

Monday, 2 November 2009

Culture, (Vultures), Values & Ethics

If I had a pound for every time I’ve read the word “culture” in relation to ITSM I’d probably have no need to set up Fairday Research Limited; I’d have bought myself a villa somewhere tropical and picturesque and would be having a very nice time thank you very much. OK, clearly I’m exaggerating. Organisational culture is talked about a great deal but I certainly haven’t read a million articles on the subject; probably not even ten thousand - and there are very few (i.e. zero) luxury villas on available in the ten-thousand pound price range. Right; I’ll try to keep my tangential meanderings to a minimum this time out; the point is that ITSM ‘thought leaders’ and others do bang on about ‘culture’ and ‘culture change’ quite a bit.