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The Psychology of Performance Part 2 (Are you a Jedi or a Jawa?)
October 2010
Daragh O Brien

In the January 2010 issue of the IAIDQ Newsletter, I discussed the pros and cons of behavioural theory as it applies to Information Quality Change Management. The gist of that piece was that people are not pigeons and that W. Edwards Deming was presciently correct when he admonished organisations to cease dependence on -management by quotas and to set about restoring pride in workmanship.

Deming noted that organisations need to stop focusing on the extrinsic motivating factors (the “easy numbers” as he called them) and get their hands dirty developing and building intrinsic motivation in staff — pride in a job well done.

In his Point 7, Deming further called on organisations to “Institute Leadership with the aim of supervising people to help them to do a better job.” All too often, however, organisations confuse “management” and “leadership” with disastrous results. While great leaders can often be good managers, very rarely is someone who is primarily a manager also a good leader. The reason is that, while they might look alike at first glance, leadership and management are, at the psychological level, very different things.