Tag Archives: Daniel Pink

Working toward Goals with “Implementation Intentions”

Heidi Grant Halvorson

Heidi Grant Halvorson

People are motivated by goals that provide opportunities for:

  • -Relatedness to others,
  • -Competence in skillfully performing,
  • -Autonomy in directing effort, according to Columbia’s Heidi Grant Halvorson of Columbia University.
Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink

This model aligns with Daniel Pink’s emphasis on:

  • Autonomy: Controlling work content and context,
  • Mastery: Improving skill in work over time through persistence, effort, corrective feedback,
  • Purpose: Being part of an inspiring goal.Halvorson advocated an incremental approach to “get better” in achieving goals rather than to simply achieve the goal.

Juliana Breines

To move toward “better,” she suggested acknowledging mistakes with kindness and understanding to cultivate self-compassion.
This approach was validated by Berkeley’s Juliana Breines and Serena Chen and University of Texas‘s Kristin Neff, who found that performance in various contexts increased when using self-compassion instead of self-criticism.

Additional ways to move closer toward goals include Halvorson’s suggestions to:

Serena Chen

-Consider the larger context of specific productive actions, 

-Define reasons for doing what needs to be done (such as exercising for 20 minutes, starting on a project),

-Use “implementation intentions,” a formula to prepare responses for challenging triggers:

If “x” occurs (specify time, place, circumstance),
then I will respond by doing, thinking, saying “y.”

    • “When I feel anxious, I will focus on inhaling and exhaling slowly for 60 seconds.”
      “When it’s 7 am, I will walk for 10 minutes,”

Kristin Neff

-Use implementation intention routines (habits) for “strategic automation” to reduce decision-overload that may reduce self-control and will-power,

-Focus on something interesting for five minutes to evoke positive feelings,

-Review “small wins” and progress toward goals.

Teresa Amabile

Teresa Amabile

“Catalysts” and “nourishers” that enable goal persistence were uncovered by Stanford’s Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer‘s study of employees at seven companies:

    • Capitalize on preferred motivational style:
      -“Promotion-focused” (maximize gains, avoid missed opportunities, powered by optimism),
      -“Prevention-focused” (minimize losses, variance, powered by cautious pessimism)
    • Build willpower by committing to one specific, positively-stated behavior change (“walking for 10 minutes a day, every day” instead of “not sitting around all day”)
    • Apply “implementation intentions
    • Protect willpower reserves by selecting  a limited number of achievable goals
    • Enlist “mental contrasting” to think positively about the satisfaction of achieving the goal.
Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck

Halvorson collaborated with Stanford’s Carol Dweck and quoted Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right” to underscore the value of optimistic engagement with goals.

Henry Ford

Henry Ford

They synthesized Dweck’s work on “mindsets” with Halvorson’s recommendations for setting, monitoring, protecting, executing, and celebrating goals.  

An earlier post outlined Dweck’s definitions of mindsets:

• Fixed Mindset:  Belief that personal capabilities are given, fixed, limited to present capacities, associated with fear, anxiety, protectiveness and guardedness,

• Growth Mindset:  View that personal capabilities can expand based on commitment, effort, practice, instruction, confronting and correcting mistakes, linked to nurturing teamwork and collaboration.

Peter Gollwitzer

Peter Gollwitzer

Columbia’s Peter Gollwitzer a refined “mindsets” by distinguishing the Deliberative Mindset of evaluating which goals to pursue versus the Implemental Mindset of planning goal execution.

His team found that the Deliberative Mindset is associated with:

              • Accurate, impartial analysis of goal feasibility and desirability,
              • Open-mindedness.

In contrast, the Implemental Mindset is linked with:

              • Optimistic, partial analysis of goal feasibility and desirability,
              • Closed-mindedness.

Halvorson, Dweck and Gollwitzer’s translated their research on self-determination and motivation into practical recommendations for goal seekers:

              • Adopt a supportive “mindset,”
              • Practice “self-compassion” in addressing setbacks to achieving goals,
              • Design effective triggers and responses,
              • Use “implementation intentions” and “strategic automation” toward desired self-managed goals,
              • Consider incremental progress toward goals.

-*What approaches help you work toward goals?

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New Questions, “Senses” for Innovative Thinking and Problem-Solving

Tim Hurson

Tim Hurson

Canadian creativity theorist Tim Hurson developed the Productive Thinking Model (“ThinkX”), a structured approach to solving problems or generating creative ideas, outlined in Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking.

It incorporates structured questioning approaches similar to those found in Design Thinking and Innovation laboratories:

  • What’s Going On?” defines the problem’s context and potential solution structure
  • What’s the Itch?” generates an extensive list of perceived problems or opportunities, then distills these into problem clusters, which reveal highest priority issues
  • What’s the Impact?” analyzes the issue and its implications
  • What’s the Information?” provides problem details
  • Who’s Involved?” identifies involved stakeholders
  • What’s the Vision?” and “What’s Success?” specify desired changes in the future state using the mnemonic “DRIVE“:
  1. Do – What must the solution do?
  2. Restrictions – What must the solution not do?
  3. Investment – What resources can be invested?
  4. Values – What values must the solution fulfill?
  5. Essential outcomes – What are other elements specify the required future state?
  • What’s the Question?” defines the problem as a question through brainstorming, clustering and prioritizing
  • What are Answers?” generates possible solutions through the same approach of brainstorming, clustering, and prioritizing
  • What’s the Solution?” develops the suggested solution into a more robust approach using the mnemonic POWER:
  1. Positives – What’s good about the idea?
  2. Objections – What’s sub-optimal about the recommendation?
  3. What else? – What else does the solution suggest?
  4. Enhancements – How can the solution’s benefits be improved?
  5. Remedies – How can the idea’s drawbacks be corrected?
  • How are Resources Aligned?” specified tasks, timelines, milestones, deliverables, issues, mitigations, stakeholders, and project team members who execute plan.
    TED Talk
Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future outlines required innovation thinking skills to solve problems using approaches like Hurson’s Productive Thinking.

A Whole New MindHe argues that contemporary world economic conditions require six conceptual, subjective, holistic “senses” to transform abundant information into meaningful and actionable implications:

  • Design is more important than function
  • Story eclipses argument
  • Symphony” (collaborative integration) surpasses focus
  • Empathy is more relevant than logic
  • Play trumps seriousness
  • Meaning is valued above accumulation.
Seymour Epstein

Seymour Epstein

Seymour Epstein of University of Massachusetts supports Pink’s argument by positing two thinking styles in Constructive Thinking: The Key to Emotional Intelligence:Constructive Thinking

  • Rational-analytical mind, measured by intelligence tests
  • Intuitive-experiential mind, associated with emotions and more intuitive ways of knowing, and measured by Epstein’s Constructive Thinking Inventory (CTI)

This “bicameral mind” model is similar to earlier notions of “Left-brain, Right-

Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck

brain”, and Dweck’s Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset

Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner

Like Howard Gardner of Harvard’s theory of multiple intelligences in Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Epstein suggests that both “minds” demonstrate unique types of intelligent knowing, and the Intuitive-experiential mind can be developed to support Emotional Intelligence competences of self-awareness and self-regulation.Frames of Mind

These authors and their findings suggest the value of cultivating less analytic and conscious modes of knowing to enhance:

  • Creative problem solving
  • Emotional Intelligence skills: Self-awareness, social insight, self-regulation, managing conflict, collaboration, influence in interpersonal relationships.

-*What skills and techniques help you innovate problem solutions?

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Career Navigation by Embracing Uncertainty

John Krumboltz

John Krumboltz

John Krumboltz of Stanford echoes the message in an earlier blog post, Is Career “Planning” Actually Career “Improvisation”? in his book, Luck is No Accident: Making the Most of Happenstance in Your Life and Career  Luck is no accident

He notes that people can’t control outcomes of unpredictable life and career situations, but he advocates paying attention to thoughts and actions that hinder progress toward goals — and to modify them with small steps.

Related Post:
Creating Productive Thought Patterns through “Thought Self-Leadership”

Increased mindful attention to habitual patterns can set the conditions for desired outcomes by planning contingencies for undesirable eventualities.

Part of this process is being:

  • Open to possibilities that diverge from an original plan
  • Willing to consider unexpected opportunities
  • Able to risk mistakes and rejection.

This may see demanding and undesirable for goal-directed people with a plan, but Krumboltz’s research demonstrates the effectiveness of these guidelines and other familiar recommendations:

  • Research areas of interest
  • Network
  • Ask for what you want
  • Keep learning
Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink

Similarly, Daniel Pink advises flexibility in career “planning” in his anime-like The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need and questions whether there can be a career “plan”, given many unpredictable possibilities.The Adventures of Johnny Bunko

Like Peter Drucker and Donald Clifton before him, Pink urges building on existing strengths and finding ways to compensate for less strong areas, rather than investing effort in remedying them.

Donalid Clifton

Donalid Clifton

In addition to familiar suggestions – persist in taking on ambitious challenges while learning from them – he recommends focusing on solving problems for others, and finding a niche to deliver valuable results.Now Discover Your Strengths

This service-orientation pays dividends as a career development strategy and in “making a difference” in the community and one’s family.

DrivePink’s later book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us ,   draws on Frederick Herzberg’s delineation of intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

Frederick Herzberg

Frederick Herzberg

People are motivated, Pink says, by career roles that provide opportunities for:

  • Autonomy, exerting control over work content and context
  • Mastery, improving skill in work over time through persistence, effort, corrective feedback
  • Purpose, participating in an inspiring goal

Related Post:
Finding Work You Love, Measuring Your Life

Pink’s TED Talk demonstrates his passionate advocacy for replacing traditional rewards and recognition with “Motivation 2.0” that provides opportunities for autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Edward Deci - Richard Ryan

Edward Deci – Richard Ryan

Draw on strengths

Pink cites Edward Deci’s and Richard Ryan‘s Cognitive Evaluation Theory (CET) that investigated variability in intrinsic motivation, and Deci’s Why We Do What We Do: Understanding Self-Motivation which advised managers to adopt “autonomy-supportive”   behaviors to encourage employees’ intrinsic motivation.Why we do what we do

These varied studies suggest the value of flexibility in career “planning” to capitalize on serendipitous opportunities, and seeking work roles that:

  • Draw on strengths
  • Enable intrinsic motivators like autonomy, purpose, mastery, and affiliation, instead of focusing primarily on monetary or status rewards.

-*How do you navigate your career in the face of incomplete information about future outcomes?

Related Posts:

Twitter: @kathrynwelds
LinkedIn Open Group Psychology in Human Resources (Organisational Psychology)
Blog: – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary
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