Primed to Perform | Neel Doshi

Summary of: Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation
By: Neel Doshi


Dive into the world of performance and motivation by exploring the insights shared by Neel Doshi in his book “Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation”. This summary enlightens readers on the three key types of motivation that shape our work culture – play, purpose, and potential – and their respective roles in shaping employee performance. Discover the pitfalls of indirect motivators, like emotional and economic pressure along with the importance of adaptive performance and tactical performance in today’s competitive business world. Learn about ToMo – a tool that measures a company’s adaptability, and uncover the essentials of effective leadership in fostering a motivated workforce.

The Three Categories of Motivation

To build a high-performance culture at your company, you need to understand the three types of motivation: play, purpose, and potential. Play motivates through curiosity and experimentation, while purpose motivates through valuing outcomes, even when the process is taxing. Potential motivates by valuing the indirect outcomes of an activity that is leading towards an important goal. However, although all three types are powerful, play is closest to the work itself, and therefore the most potent. To perform better, start seeing your work as play!

Indirect Motivators and Performance

The more indirect motivators that are present, the lower the performance at work. Emotional pressure, economic pressure, and inertia are indirect motivators that lower work performance. Emotions such as guilt, disappointment, or shame may motivate people to do particular activities. Economic pressure encourages workers to seek rewards or avoid penalties, whereas inertia motivates individuals to do something because they did it yesterday. Emotional pressure is the least harmful of these motive types, whereas economic pressure is more detrimental. Inertia is the most damaging indirect motivator in terms of overall work performance. While inertia may help people get work done, it can leave them wondering why they did it in the first place, day in and day out.

The Importance of Adaptive Performance

In today’s fast-paced business world, adaptive performance, which is a company’s ability to be flexible and adaptable, is crucial. This means breaking away from set plans and seizing new opportunities when they arise. To achieve adaptive performance, a working culture that encourages creativity and problem-solving is necessary. Adaptive performance can be improved through play, purpose, and potential motives. Tactical performance, which is the ability to execute a plan, is equally important, but companies often tend to focus on it alone as it is easier to measure. However, adaptive performance should not be overlooked as it is essential for overall success. Managing a company’s culture is an ongoing process, and ToMo is a useful tool that can measure a company’s culture and performance.

Total Motivation for Company’s Adaptability

Total Motivation (ToMo) is a tool that measures a company’s adaptability through six motives. ToMo is calculated using six statements agreed or disagreed upon by responders. This data is used to identify areas of improvement and devise strategies to boost three positive motives while reducing indirect motives. A benchmark metric shows that companies with great corporate culture have a ToMo score that is 15 points higher than the industry standard. ToMo has a strong correlation with customer experience, which leads to higher profits and customer retention rates.

The ability to adapt is crucial for a company’s success, but how do you measure it? Enter Total Motivation or ToMo, a tool that helps companies measure their adaptability. ToMo uses six motives, and the tool works by first analyzing these motivations to calculate the company’s current ToMo. Once that is established, areas of improvement can be identified, which tend to be those with direct customer engagement, product quality, or creativity. The next step is to create a strategy to improve three positive motives while reducing indirect motives in the identified areas of focus. To help guide companies, a benchmark metric shows that companies with great corporate culture have a ToMo score that is 15 points higher than the industry standard.

It’s not just a theoretical concept; ToMo is strongly correlated with customer experience, which has a direct connection to profits, customer retention rates, and cross-sales. In fact, research found that a salesperson with positive ToMo generated 28% more revenue than a salesperson with negative ToMo. The tool provides an optimal individualized strategy that companies can use to create a company culture that motivates employees and boosts productivity. By generating a plan and implementing it in specific outcomes, a company can limit investment capital while increasing economic performance. ToMo’s ability to measure adaptability through six distinct motives makes it a powerful tool for companies to ensure they’re on the right track.

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