Human behaviour, time and money

Think about human behaviour the same way you think about money. Imagine that all your employees have got 100 pounds in their pocket every day when they arrive at work. As a leader, it's your responsibility to make sure that every employee willingly spends all their money on any given day.

And that they’re not saving anything for the following day.

When I spend my money, I follow some fundamental principles. These are probably obvious and familiar to everyone. Nevertheless, have a look and think about how these relate to the example above.

I buy things that I want I might spend money on stupid “shit”, but I’ll do it because I want too. It’s not always easy to understand why, but that’s the reality. Since it’s my money I will spend it on things that bring me or people I care about value.

I don’t spend money on things that I perceive to have no value You can tell me all you want about that yoga retreat in Thailand or the new Nissan Leaf, but if I don’t see the value in those things, I won't spend my money on them. If an object or experience has no perceived value to me, it’s not worth the money in my pocket.

I don’t spend money on anything unknown If there is any ambiguity, uncertainty or lack of information it’s very unlikely that I will invest anything in it. The more unlikely the outcome is, the less likely it is that I’ll even consider taking out my wallet.

I don’t give money away for free I’ll expect to get something in return. Since I’m not rich, I spend my money wisely. Therefore, I won’t give it away unless it’s also beneficial for me in some way. It doesn’t have to be an object or something concrete, but there has to be some added value for me.

And if you try to steal it from me… I will fight you back and never completely trust you again.

Now, swap the word “money” with “time” and see if this relates to any of the challenges you are currently encountering in your organisation. Does it sound familiar?