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How Will You Measure Your Life? By Clayton Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon

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Written by someone who worked lecturing in Harvard Business School (HBS) and realise that career success isn’t everything

You can’t simply pay people more for them to do more their diaries may already be full.

Split a job into hygiene and motivation factors – ideally you have both in your job.

Hygiene factors are things like status, compensation, job security, work conditions, company policies, and supervisory practices.

Motivation factors include challenging work, recognition, responsibility, and personal growth. Feelings that you are making a meaningful contribution to work arise from intrinsic conditions of the work itself. Motivation arises from your internally.

The opposite of job satisfaction is not dissatisfaction they are measure on two different scales.  Dissatisfaction is measured as hygiene factors, satisfaction is measured by motivation factors.

Problems with jobs occur when the job becomes the priority over everything else.  If hygiene factors are already satisfied, the quest is then only to make more money, which won’t add to your happiness.

If you go to your job motivated you are more productive, and tend to go home feeling happier about what you have done.   Remember don’t chase the mirage of success. 

Theory of motivation suggests you need to ask yourself a different set of questions than most of us are used to asking. Is this work meaningful to me? Is this job going to give me a chance to develop? Am I going to learn new things? Will I have an opportunity for recognition and achievement? Am I going to be given responsibility? These are the things that will truly motivate you. Once you get this right, the more measurable hygiene aspects of your job will fade in importance.

Strategy should be based on Balancing Emergent and Deliberate Strategy

List assumptions, then test validity of most important wants helps keeping strategy on course.

The resource allocation process determines which deliberate and emergent initiatives get funded and implemented, and which are denied resources. Everything related to strategy inside a company is only intent until it gets to the resource allocation stage, then allocated resources.

An innovator may have a dilemma is between short-and long-term goals.  There maybe conflict between different departments in terms of short versus long term goals.

93 percent of all companies that ultimately become successful had to abandon their original strategy.  This is because the original plan proved not to be viable. In other words, successful companies don’t succeed because they have the right strategy at the beginning; but rather, because they have money left over after the original strategy fails, so that they can pivot and try another approach.

A Theory of Good and Bad Capital

At a basic level, there are two goals investors have when they put money into a company: growth and profitability. Neither is easy. When the winning strategy is not yet clear in the initial stages of a new business, good money from investors needs to be patient for growth but impatient for profit.

This demands that a new company figures out a viable strategy.  The viable strategy can be deduced quickly with as little investment as possible, otherwise the entrepreneurs don’t spend a lot of money in pursuit of the wrong strategy.

This is where big companies have a disadvantage, they can burn through money much faster so it can be harder for them to change than a small one. Motorola learned this lesson with Iridium which is an example of bad company in which a company that used capital to seek growth before profits.

The reason why both types of capital appear in the name of the theory is that once a viable strategy has been found, investors need to change what they seek.  At this stage they should become impatient for growth and patient for profit. Once a profitable and viable way forward has been discovered success is determined by scaling out this model.

Don’t assume you know what other people want, think carefully about exactly what they want and the job that you are being hired for? This goes for personal life as well.

The factors that determine a company’s capabilities, what is can and can’t do are:

Resources, Processes, and Priorities

When discussing process mentions risks of outsourcing on both business and parenting, you want to remain having a firm understanding of the process. The example of losing knowledge of the process is Dell, which initially started to make computers, then outsourced  a small amount then more and more to Asus.  It got to the point that Dell didn’t make any parts of their computers, Asus did everything.  Asus then started to make their own computers.  Dell was lucky to remain in business, having lost crucial knowledge ownership of the process. When parenting be sure to help your kids learn process so they can do things for themselves in future

Culture is like autopilot. You have to build the culture that you want in your family and business to set the autopilot in the correct direction. If you do not consciously build it and reinforce a positive culture from the earliest stages of your family life, a culture will still form but it will form in ways you may not like.

Allowing your children to get away with lazy or disrespectful behaviour a few times will begin the process of making it your family’s culture. So will telling them that you’re proud of them when they work hard to solve a problem. Although it’s difficult for a parent to always be consistent and remember to give your children positive feedback when they do something right, it’s in these everyday interactions that your culture is being set. And once that happens, it’s almost impossible to change.

Be aware important ethical decisions in our lives will not be highlighted.  Almost everyone is confident that in those moments of truth, he or she will do the right thing. After all, how many people do you know who believe they do not have integrity? The problem is, life seldom works that way. Instead, most of us will face a series of small, everyday decisions that rarely seem like they have high stakes attached. But over time, they can play out far more dramatically. It happens exactly the same way in companies.

Outlines an example of resistance to change with Blockbuster versus Netflix.  Netflix started out posting DVDs. Blockbuster followed a principle that is taught in every fundamental course in finance and economics: that in evaluating alternative investments, we should ignore sunk and fixed costs . Instead base decisions on the new costs and revenues that each alternative entails.

With the analysis the marginal costs are lower, and marginal profits are higher, than the full cost. However this encourages companies to leverage what they have put in place to succeed in the past, instead of guiding them to create the capabilities they’ll need in the future. If we knew the future would be exactly the same as the past, that approach would be fine.

Blockbuster should have been thinking: “If we didn’t have an existing business, how could we best build a new one? What would be the best way for us to serve our customers?”

Failure is often at the end of a path of marginal thinking, we end up paying for the full cost of our decisions, not the marginal costs, whether we like it or not.

Many of us have convinced ourselves that we are able to break our own personal rules “just this once.” In our minds, we can justify these small choices. None of those things, when they first happen, feels like a life-changing decision. The marginal costs are almost always low. But each of those decisions can roll up into a much bigger picture, turning you into the kind of person you never wanted to be. This is an example of marginal costs hiding from us the true cost of our actions.

If you give in to “just this once,” based on a marginal-cost analysis, you’ll regret where you end up. It is easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time. If you cross the boundary, your personal moral line by justifying it once, there’s nothing to stop you doing it again.

Three Parts of Purpose

Likeness. A likeness of a company is what the key leaders and employees want the enterprise to have become at the end.

Commitment employees and executives need to have a deep commitment to the end outcome

Metrics in which progress can be objectively measured. 

Companies that aspire to positive impact must never leave their purpose to chance. Note defining purpose is a process, not an event.

At times, constrained by the capacities of our minds, we cannot always see the big picture.  If you take the time to figure out your purpose in life, it will be the most important thing you may ever learn!s

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