There are truly a lot of different ways to motivate or encourage a person. Some people need help articulating and envisioning a dream. There are those who need a vote of confidence that they too can ‘do it’. Still others need a clearer understanding of the steps to accomplish the dreams envisioned. In all of the types of motivators (many of which are not captured here!) none include the message that thriving is not a possibility, that the possibilities today are the only possibilities that will ever be available. Organizations development pathways that provide neat, easily organized progress projections worded in absolute terms, however, may inadvertently convey a ceiling for growth or get in the way of other creative solutions. Rigid definitions can end up boxing in inclinations for further advancement to aim toward the standard norm. The very guidelines that are intended to steer growth and advancement, may inadvertently set a cap on talent growth potential and, subsequently, negatively impact innovation and growth objectives.
Case in point: I hired a top notch physical therapist to help me regain strength in an unstable ankle. Like many others with joint instability, we found hip weakness was contributing to the problem. Job well done right? Not quite! Before I was ready to go back to running marathons she graduated me, with the reasoning that she had given me all of the tools I needed. I could keep doing those exercises for the rest of my life. Excuses me, what? My aims for growth are much greater than that constraining standard!
No revenue driven business means to enforce such a limitation. While some employees may appreciate a well thought out, standard goal, steering career growth opportunities to industry standards and internally defined guidelines alone constraints the full potential that may be gleaned from valuable talent development investments. What’s worse, these arbitrary ‘box walls’ may even discourage employees from pushing the growth and innovation envelope.
Think of our behaviorally advanced HR structures, such as those fostered by the cultures at Facebook, Apple and Uber. The element that ties these massively innovative power houses isn’t only the immense talent or generous benefits, it is the openness to changes in policy, ideas and structure that keep the ‘sky is the limit’ thinking flowing.
Beyond yielding top revenue potential, it is the provision of this agar to the petri dish of the work environment that has changed modern lifestyle in countless ways. Examples like widespread smartphone, Facebook and Uber utilization alone demonstrate that, with an open, enabling mentality, the sky isn’t even the limit!