Albert Einstein was undoubtedly one of the most influential physicists of our time and a number of his invaluable insights readily translate to the business world.
According to Einstein, “most teachers waste their time by asking questions which are intended to discover what the pupil does not know.” This is equivalent to the workplace manager who only focuses on the gaps in the knowledge of their staff. Often, these are the same managers who limit their questions to those to which they already know the answer.
In my experience, employees and co-workers add the most value when we leverage their knowledge and expertise. It is by building on a person’s strengths that we help them to achieve exceptional performance.
To quote Einstein, “The true art of questioning has for its purpose to discover what the pupil knows or is capable of knowing.” By seeking to discover and identify the knowledge and talents within a team, we can unlock potential. With targeted training, coaching and mentoring to build on and share this capability, we can deliver superior performance.
Einstein’s E=mc2 theory of relativity arose from his realisation that energy and matter are equivalent; i.e. energy can be transformed into matter and vice versa. He proved that the speed of light is the conversion factor showing how the link between energy and matter operates.
I know much more about organisations than I do about physics and I wonder what Einstein would have thought of the following equation:
Effectiveness = motivation x capability2
My theory of organisational relativity (E=mc2) proposes that effectiveness (at a team or personal level) and motivation are equivalent, at the rate of capability.
What do I mean by that? I believe that for an individual or organisation to be fully effective, they have to be motivated (e.g. with a clear and inspirational vision, smart objectives and an appropriate measures and rewards system). However, motivation alone is not sufficient grounding for effective performance. Motivation can only be transformed into effective output at the rate of capability, which can be enhanced through a combination of training, coaching and mentoring.
Food for thought…time to focus on what motivates my team, build capability and convert that into effective energy.