horizon by Paxson Woelber

Meaning, Autonomy, and Openness: Three Mindset Hacks

by Scott Crabtree

In the process of developing my serious game, I have been distilling many of the relatively small but enormously effective changes individuals and companies can implement to boost happiness and productivity into sets of related hacks. 

Even after immersing myself in this topic for several years now, I continue to be amazed at how applicable cutting-edge science can be. 

To show you what I mean by that and give you a bit of a preview of my game, I’d like to share three hacks with a common theme of mindset.

1. Find the Meaning
While not every single task throughout our week may be incredibly meaningful, I bet there is a purpose behind the work you do. Scientific studies suggest that acknowledging the bigger picture and focusing on the impact our work has in our sphere of influence brings motivation, satisfaction, and happiness.

What you can do right now: Write your own mission statement, in just a few sentences. Why do you do what you do? How does it fit in with your organizations or industry’s purpose?

2. Give Autonomy
According to science, autonomy is one of the strongest motivators available. It also lessens stress and improves job satisfaction and mood. As a team leader, it is great when you can set clear goals, then leave it to your team to determine when, where, and how to get the necessary work done.

What you can do right now: Put autonomy on the agenda. Let your team know that they are empowered to make decisions and organize their work. When someone brings you a decision you think they could have made, have them make it.

3. Broaden Your Horizons
Studies by MIT’s Human Dynamics Lab found that teams that brought outside information into discussions generated better ideas and plans. Almost always relevant and helpful pieces of information can be found outside the meeting room.

What you can do right now: In your next meeting, ask what others are doing about the challenge or opportunity you are facing, and what you can learn from them.


Want to play?

As always, I’d be thrilled to hear whether you put these hacks into action, and how they work – or don’t work – for you. And if you are interested in joining my group of pre-alpha testers for the game I am developing, please get in touch!

(Photo by Paxson Woebler on Flickr.)