Our Principle Based Management™ framework is rooted in proven principles that have fueled the ongoing success of Stand Together and our partners. Many of these principles are highlighted throughout the Principle Based Management booklet. Over the next few posts, we’ll explore some of these principles in greater depth.
To succeed long-term nonprofit leaders must enable employees to understand what we are trying to achieve and empower them to achieve it in a principled manner. This requires an understanding of what motivates people to act.
In his book, “Human Action,” noted economist and philosopher Ludwig von Mises posits that three requirements must be met for individuals to take action:
- Unease or dissatisfaction with the present state of affairs
- A vision of a better state
- A belief that they can reach the better state
Take for example, mowing a lawn. We are motivated to mow our lawns when we are dissatisfied with their present condition, we believe that they will look better mowed, and we know how to mow them. Similarly, partners may choose to work with us on an issue they are deeply passionate about when they are dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, are confident in our ability to facilitate progress, and possess a clear roadmap for engagement with our organization.
Successful organizations create dissatisfaction with the status quo, provide a vision of long-term success and fulfillment, and empower employees to contribute by building a culture of Principled Entrepreneurship™. Organizations that fail to meet these three requirements develop a culture that stifles progress.
At Stand Together, we strive to create dissatisfaction with the current state by helping employees recognize that no matter how well they and the organization are doing they must continually improve and transform themselves or creative destruction will ultimately cause our organizations to become obsolete. We help employees develop a vision of a better state, first by understanding our vision and our principle-based framework, then by demonstrating what they will gain if they apply this framework to advance the vision.
How to Motivate Employees to Maximize Their Contribution
The most difficult requirement is helping employees believe they have a path to a better state. For many organizations this becomes impossible because they have developed a bureaucracy-based framework and culture that stifles employees’ ability to fully contribute. To overcome this tendency, the Principled Based Management framework can empower your employees to reach a better state by motivating them to maximize their contribution to your organization’s long-term success. As nonprofit leaders we can ensure that our employees:
- Have meaningful work that fits their talents and passions
- Have appropriate control over their activities
- Are able to develop and grow
- Have the opportunity to be creative
- Receive meaningful rewards