Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Some surprising insights on motivating people to be innovative....

One of the complaints that I hear from fellow faculty most often is that we weren't actually trained for the job!  What?  But let's think about grad school -- we learn how to do research, write papers, and maybe how to write grant applications...but when do we learn management skills?  As research lab directors, it isn't just ordinary management skills we need to learn - we need to know how to comply with complex regulations, how to write numerous types of regulatory documents (e.g. IACUC protocols, IRB protocols) - how to manage a budget or multiple budgets and projects, and how to manage people.  When it comes to managing people, it would have been nice to get some training at some point on what to do, and especially on what NOT to do....and I personally would have preferred it to not be "on the job" training...therefore one of the things I'm going to try to post here every so often are the handy links that I find that might help in preparing people for future careers as lab hopefully I can help other people to skip that part of the learning curve!  This short (10 minute) video is entertaining, and useful to a variety of disciplines - but especially ones that require motivation and innovation -- one of the hardest things in science (especially in these times of tight funding) is keeping people motivated...and let's face likely are you to get outstanding innovative research going on if you can't motivate your innovators?  Does money buy innovation? For the surprising answers (which are backed by top notch research), check out the video at

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