Posted on

Same Job: New Job

Last week we looked at some tips if you want a new job.  But what if you want to stay in your current job, but want it to feel like a new job?

If only there were some way to revitalise your current job.  Well maybe there is.  And it all starts with the Flower Model of Job Satisfaction.

Flower Model

Lets take each petal at a time and see what you can do to boost your job satisfaction.  Effective action on two or three of these could transform the way you feel about your current job.


What is it that really motivates you in your work?  David McClelland’s theory of ‘Motivational Needs’ can help you here: You may be motivated by:

The Need for Power: a desire to be in control – of yourself, yes, and others maybe. Certainly you will look for respect.

The Need for Affiliation:  a desire to be part of a team and to relate to other people, working together and being recognised for your contributions.

The Need for Achievement: a desire to do things, do them well, see results and sense progress.

Whatever you discover motivates you, look for ways to get more of it in the balance of your work.


If getting things done and making a difference matters to you, then look for ways to take a more strategic perspective on your work.  What choices and decisions have you been pretending you can’t make?  It is time to be more precise in what you choose to do, and to seek more responsibility for making a difference.  So start with ‘what is the purpose of my job?’  and work towards focusing more on that and less on the trivia.


Get involved in projects, take part in change, review how you do things or what else your organisation could do to serve your clients or customers.  Take time out to think, experiment and play.


Start to look for the fun in the things you do day-to-day: maybe a robust argument about the next marketing campaign, perhaps a chance to design a new window display, possibly a decision to learn new techniques that will make you better at your job.  With the right attitude, discussion, design and learning are all fun – and so is just about anything.


Focus on one thing and look at how you can do it as well and efficiently as you possibly can.  Flow states are the optimum state of pleasure for humans. We reach them when we stretch ourselves to the limit of our capability, so transform a dull repetitive task to a striving for efficiency and not only will you free up time for creativity or relationships or enjoyment, but you will have more pleasure doing the task.


The average worker spends more of their waking hours with work colleagues than they do with their family.  So make the most of it.  Look for new ways to enjoy the company of your colleagues – or look for new colleagues within your organisation whose company you can better enjoy.

Please Note:  This is in no way a recommendation to try out an inappropriate workplace relationship.  Far more often than not, it will end badly and make things a whole lot worse!

Management Pocketbooks you may enjoy

The Positive Mental Attitude Pocketbook will give you a heap of hints how to transform your attitude to a job you are starting to tire of.

The Management Models Pocketbook has a chapter on David McClelland’s model of motivational needs.

The Improving Efficiency Pocketbook will give you a load of ideas for… improving efficiency.

The Working Relationships Pocketbook will..  well, you get the idea.

Share this:
Posted on

Go to the Gemba


Gemba is a Japanese term that means ‘actual place’.  If like me, you like the odd bit of history, the gemba can sometimes send a shiver down your spine, to be where something important happened.  As an enthusiastic reader of Patrick O’Brian’s books, (see one of my favourite and most read posts: Aubrey and Maturin, Arthur and Merlin), visiting HMS Victory had that effect.


It’s a schadenfreude type of word – a word for a concept that we all recognise, but for which there is no word in our language – like schadenfreude.  I’m sure there should be a name for such a word – and there probably is: if not in English, then probably in some language.  Of course, in English, we don’t need to make up words, we just borrow or steal these ‘loan words’ from their source language.

There is in fact a whole book of these types of words and I expect it would tell me what they are called.  Is there a word for ‘a book I’d love to have but would probably only look at for a few minutes and then put on a shelf and never look at again, so I shan’t buy it unless it turns up for a quid at a charity shop’?  Suggestions below, please.

Back to the Gemba

Wikipedia tells me that gemba is used by Japanese police for the scene of a crime, and their on-the-spot reporters report from the gemba.

I discovered the word gemba through its association with another Japanese concept ‘kaizen’ or ‘improvement’.  In the body of knowledge, practices and tools called kaizen, ‘going to the gemba’ means heading for where the work is done and the value is created.  I spotted the word in The Improving Efficiency Pocketbook.


Usually, it’s pretty easy to come up with a topic for a Pocketblog, but this week, I had a serious bout of blogger’s block: about 24 hours’ worth.  My usual solutions failed me: flicking through Pocketbooks, grazing the web, walking about, taking my daughter to the park and sleeping on it.

So in desperation, with little time left, I went to the gemba.  I sat at my computer and stared.  I looked for a Pocketbook I’d not read yet and grabbed Improving Efficiency and decided that, come what may, I’d write about it.  Then I saw it:

‘got a problem? Go to the gemba.’

I could never resist irony.  I had to write about it.

So here’s the deal

Improving Efficiency PocketbookWhen you want to solve a problem or improve a process, go to where the work gets done, where the problem is happening, where the workers work.  As Philip Holman and Derek Snee say in the Improving Efficiency Pocketbook:


‘Attempting to solve problems in isolation (perhaps in a management meeting) without visiting the workplace and involving the people who actually do the work is a recipe for failure.’

Other Pocketbooks you might like

Share this: