Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Paranoia or Pronoia?

What causes an organization's members to act paranoid? When you have too many Takers, in Adam Grant's language. Takers are those who believe in win-lose transactions or are just plain narcissistic. It's a dog-eat-dog world in their eyes. And they have a scarcity mentality; the pie of rewards is only so big and they want the biggest piece. Ask them what percentage of employees steal from the company and they answer with a high percentage. They project their own desires on others.

Givers serve more than they receive help. They're not quite lose-win in transactions but they can sacrifice their good for others. They thrive in an organization that's pronoid--where people are convinced that others are out to help them. Givers can become Takers or Matchers (where reciprocity is the name of the game) if they've been burned too many times. Givers, however, believe the percentage of stealers in an organization is less than 20%.

Being agreeable or disagreeable is not an indication of a Giver or a Taker. A disagreeable Taker is a jerk; an agreeable Taker, according to Grant, is being like Canada (I can't explain his reasoning). An agreeable Giver is a doormat; a disagreeable Giver values being candid all the time.

If you think you're a Giver but you're successful, you might have a blind spot of being a Matcher or a Taker. The predominant group at the bottom performance tier are Givers. Who rises to the top? They are also Givers predominantly. Takers are watching out for and sabotaging other Takers and Matchers will thwart Takers also through gossip, sabotage from a sense of fairness and justice.

How to move from paranoia to pronoia? Fire the wrong people and hire the right people. Redefine giving as a 5 min. favor and help people volunteer (no more than 100 hrs/year or they might burnout).

No comments:

Post a Comment