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Doing What We Know We Should: Managing As an Unnatural Act

If you want to make improvements to the practice of management, start in your own backyard. This was the view of a team of executives at If, the leading Scandinavian insurance company. As part of a strategic review, they had become aware of the untapped talent of many front-line employees, and they developed the simple hypothesis that this potential might be opened up with a more supportive and coaching-oriented style of management. “We thought that by acting in a slightly different way, and emphasizing intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation, our managers might make a real difference to the competence and performance of our employees,” recalls Hakan Johansson, one of the executives ...

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