“Movement isn’t progress.” — Thomas Leonard
You can dramatically shape a positive inner work life if you know what the key catalysts are. Catalysts are powerful ways to influence a positive inner work life. When people have a positive inner work life, they are more creative and productive. People are also more committed to their work and more likely to work well with their colleagues.
Progress is actually one of the best ways to motivate people, and catalysts influence your progress loop in an interesting way. First, a catalyst can positively influence your inner work life, before it actually impacts the work itself. For example, if you knew you were getting a faster computer, you would think positively of your employer before you actually got the computer. Next, when the catalyst does actually positively impact your work, it then boosts your inner work life again.
In the book, The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work , Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer share the most crucial catalysts that shape your inner work life. Their findings are based on studying more than 12,000 “even of the day” narratives by employees across multiple organizations.
The Seven Major Catalysts
Here are the seven major catalysts that affect both the positive perception of progress and the actual positive impact on progress:
- Setting clear goals.
- Allowing autonomy.
- Providing resources.
- Giving enough time — but not too much.
- Help with the work.
- Learning from problems and successes.
- Allowing ideas to flow.
The opposite of each of these is an inhibitor of progress. Inhibitors hinder progress or cause setbacks and have a negative impact on inner work life.
Photo by Anil Bhatt.