How do you communicate a good idea? James T. McCay has spent most of his adult life working as a consultant to management.
He has sought to help managers find ways to improve the performance of organized groups without thwarting the vital spirit of the individual.
Just as the individual can become energized to high levels of performance, McCay feels the time has come when groups of individuals also can be energized. And he believes this can be done with regularity.
Certainly, today many are searching for better and more satisfactory ways to reach group objectives. This pursuit manifests itself in many forms – from such organized self-help groups as Weight Watchers to Alcoholics Anonymous, from Esalen to consciousness-raising groups of all kinds.
Whatever form such groups take, the underlying rationale is similar – a cohesive group can help the individual realize his own potential at the same time the individual contributes his energy to a greater realization of’ the group’s objectives.
This phenomenon is often referred to as “synergism”. Simply put, when the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, you have “synergy”.
Acknowledging that such synergistic or human potential groups have flourished in recent years, the natural question from organizational managers has been: but can it work here?
“Our business is productivity not self-enlightenment.”
Three years ago, the Author sought to find out receptive management was to some of the ideas of synergism. Bell-Northern Research of Canada published Beyond Motivation in its May issue of THE (a series of publications about new horizons in communications).
The response from managers and planners in industry, commerce, and governments was overwhelming. Hundreds of individuals who became aware of the booklet requested copies for uses ranging from motivating salesmen to inspiring more innovative corporate development.
“Our profits are measured in dollars not better feelings.”
Since their original publication in 1970, Bell-Northern Research has compiled an impressive, file of letters from organization leaders in a large number of companies in both Canada and the United States. The briefest summary we can give of this surprising response is that there are quite a few people who believe as the Author does that motivation based on fear is not the way to get the most out of people in business and industry.
Beyond Motivation may strike some as a strange book, or perhaps not a book at all. It is frankly an experiment in communication. In the most concise way possible, the Author has synthesized some of the major ideas of contemporary humanistic writers: A.H. Maslow, Peter Drucker, Rollo May, Fritz Perls, Marshall McLuhan, Wilheim Reich, Ivan lllich, to name but a few.
This is a book that doesn’t attempt so much to impart new information as it does to organize ideas in such a way that the reader can bring his own experience to shape the idea. Deliberately, there is space around the Author’s assertions, This book does not attempt to persuade by documented argumentation but to present a framework of abstractions which suggest, provoke, and inspire thoughts and feelings in the reader.
Presented in this form, there are many uses of Beyond Motivation. It has been used to help the individual better integrate his own thinking about human behavior and human relations. It has been used as a means of sharing with others how the individual thinks about the subject. It has been used as a background reference tool for conferences and educational classes. Finally, it also serves as an outline for structuring organizational settings.
We believe the book can be particularly useful in a group, because it provides, for our time, a valid rationale for an individual’s role within the context of group endeavor. The brevity of the book ensures that the reader can be exposed — and grasp the essentials – in fifteen to twenty minutes. Anyone who has tried to communicate complex ideas through comprehensive books knows how useful such brevity can be.
There are many routes to reach a goal and the Author does not presume to know the appropriate ways for all. He practices an approach, not the approach. He has indicated where we are going not how we will get there.
Jeffrey Norton Publishers
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