If you read my previous comments on an article called the Top 10 Ways to Motivate Geeks, you might be interested in Nate Kohari’s personal take on a little reverse psychology: The Top 10 Ways to De-Motivate Geeks. That’s right - to demotivate them.

Sort of reminds me of my favorite company Despair, Inc., who has for their website address http://www.demotivators.com/. They are sort of a Dilbert-esque take on the old Successories posters that were interesting for about 8 months before they got old. Despair, Inc’s posters are the ones I’d really like to see more often.

True story: I actually worked at a place that had made up their own little ’successory’-styled posters - but with no pretty pictures and the words were in huge newsprint headline fonts - usually bold green letters on a solid orange background. They apparently worshiped the trite sayings that they had created - so much so that several employees battled over who got what poster in their office when they office had moved to a new larger suite. They had some that read “Change is Inevitable” and “Dedication Above All Else”. I wish I was kidding.

On one particular corner as you got deeper into the maze of cubicles and copy machine “nests”, one of the posters said something like “Greatness Almost Always Leads to Success”. When you walked around the corner, the next immediate poster said “Greatness Always Leads to Success” - without the “Almost” in it. I once pointed this out to a manager wondering aloud if this was done to separate the front half of the group from the back half, jokingly saying that the sign implied the front group before the corner might have a more uneven pattern of success for their great people. The manager just looked at me - annoyed. Turns out nobody had ever noticed what amounted to a typo on what would otherwise be two duplicate signs less than five feet from each other. No one ever fixed it either while I was still there. The drone factory was in full swing at that place.

Technorati : employee, geeks, motivation

Posted in: Management