6 Essential Elements for Leaders and Organizations

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DEVELOP GREAT WORK 6 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS FOR LEADERS AND ORGANIZATIONS How do you create an environment where people are empowered to make a difference? Any one in any role has the capability to do great work—to connect, question, collaborate and innovate. The key: giving people permission and the space and time to go above what is expected. We invite you to consider each of these elements and what you can do as a leader or an organization to develop great work. 1 DESIGN WITH PURPOSE Create work spaces that align to your purpose. At Airbnb, the mission to ‘create a world that inspires human connection’ is brought to life. No one has a desk, and the open spaces are all specifically designed to inspire creativity, collaboration, and community. 2 ENCOURAGE INTERACTION Talking and sharing ideas with people outside of your inner circle is a key aspect of doing great work. Google purposefully sets out cafes and micro-kitchens to encourage interaction amongst people whose desks are not near each other. 3 BE OPEN TO DEBATE When people feel they can communicate openly, they’ll be empowered to speak up and ask questions. At Twitter—a business centered on communication and openness— sharing new ideas, debating, and making it safe to engage in discourse is encouraged. 4 ALLOW FOR THINKING TIME Difference-makers need time to pause, and ask the right questions. 3M started the trend followed by HP and Google, allowing employees to spend a percentage of their time working on something they’re passionate about that aligns to the overall business strategy. 5 INVITE IDEATION According to research by Aon Hewitt, employees who feel encouraged to share ideas and opinions with others are 3x more engaged. At DreamWorks Studios, any employee can write and pitch a movie idea. In fact, a training course was developed to teach people how to best pitch their idea, which they’ve now opened the door for any type of pitch (new business ideas, software, social media, mobile entrepreneurism). 6 SUPPORT A CULTURE OF RECOGNITION In a study conducted by the O.C. Tanner Institute, employees were asked (without prompting), “What is the most important thing your manager or company currently does (or could do) to cause you to produce great work?” The number-one answer: “Recognize me.” Ready to create a culture of great work? Incorporate these elements and encourage your teams to take our GREAT WORK CHALLENGE. Get more great work insights at

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