To get Swedish commuters to take the stairs instead of the escalator at a metro stop, they turned the staircase into a giant keyboard, complete with sound. How can you use the same approach to change people’s behavior at work?
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Gen. George Washington never hesitated to use young talent. Example: Henry Knox, who grew up poor and uneducated, became recognized as a military authority. In 1775, Washington saw that Knox had supervised construction of impressive ramparts north of Boston, made him a colonel and gave him a seemingly impossible task—moving heavy artillery 300 miles, which Knox achieved.
When Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA in 1943, he didn’t sell furniture. He sold a variety of goods, including wallets and jewelry. Yet, IKEA became a worldwide success at selling simple, inexpensive assemble-it-yourself furniture through a series of shrewd distribution and positioning moves on Kamprad’s part.
What makes an employee productive? Unproductive? “The key factor you can use to make employees miserable on the job is to simply keep them from making progress in meaningful work,” say researchers Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer.