Third Ingredient: Fostering Autonomy

Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.

—Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us

When I met Maurice Grange in 1986, he had been in charge of maintenance at computer company Honeywell Bull in Paris for many years. I was a young McKinsey consultant, part of a team helping the company improve its customer service. I was struck by how widely customer satisfaction ratings varied from one district to another, but once aggregated at the regional level, produced more even results as districts balanced each other out.

During a meeting, I argued ...

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