This comment is for "Task Singificance: An Interview with Adam Grant".
This was an interesting yet simple concept that was described. Having worked in a marketing organization, it was interesting to see that many of the tasks we were asked to perform may not have been entirely customer focused per se. The customer interviews may actually have been at least dual-purposed: for to increase customer satisfaction but possibly to increase employee productivity (and job satisfaction) at the same time.
The interventions that were mentioned were simple yet seemingly effective methods of not only obtaining information but also providing motivation to the benefit of the customer as well as the end user, in the long run (better engineered products, more user friendly user experiences, etc).
The notion of task significance seems to be a more narrowly focused relative of social responsibility. Task significance is the positive impact on the well-being of others or that benefits others.
Social responsibility is trying to ensure that what is done benefits more than just the doer. As a previous member of the hi tech sector, it was very easy to become lost in the shuffle of the hordes of workers in the Silicon Valley chasing the almighty dollar. WIthout task significance, employees are simply sheep following the one in front of them.
I can understand how those that work in the jobs/industries that are less than desirable can feel invisible quite easily. In fact, even in the most seemingly glamorous careers, unless the task significance is made evident, burnout is inevitable.
It was indeed gratifying to meet with my customers, partners and colleagues not only to swap war stories but to share best practices. The sense of gratification of a job well-done (from the eyes of the end user) was indeed priceless.
The only other thing that I found surprising was how young Mr. Grant looks in his photo!
There was a word that I couldnt quite understand. When talking about 2 types of personalities that would benefit from interventions metioned, conscienciousness and ____ processural (sp?) values. Not exactly sure what that word was.