Richard J. Bocchinfuso

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." – Oscar Wilde

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 4, Discussion 2

Discussion Post

How can you as a manager motivate your employees to provide creative solutions to some of your organizational challenges without focusing on a pay raise or a monetary bonus? Consider an organization you know well, has this or a similar way to motivate its employees been utilized? If not, would this way to motivate have worked?

I feel like this post is a bit repetitive, I think I covered much of this in my week three paper, but I will try to change it up a bit, provide a brief synopsis of some of the motivational ideas I outlined in the paper, and try to look at things from a slightly different perspective.

When I think about motivation, in the context of what I do every day I always think in terms of autonomy, mastery, and purpose.  (RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us, 2010) I also think a lot about achieving “flow”.

Just today I received an email from someone in our marketing department asking if they could republish an article I wrote entitled “Baby Got Bots” by Sir Fix-a-Lot (aka me).  It was a play on “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot, the correspondence was quite long, even a snippet from the correspondence was too long to paste into the post.  I realize a little is lost in the story without the context, if anyone is interested I am happy to post a follow-up.

The email from marketing went on to state “We noticed you write a blog and wanted to see if you were interested in writing pretty short pieces for the website (you will be credited for your work)? I’m working on a proposal to pay eng for content, if that sweetens the deal.”

My response simply was: “Will my writing be directed?  I write as an outlet, I like to feel inspired, so the $s not a sweetener for me.”

I am very familiar with Atlassian and at one time or another have been a user of Jira, Bitbucket Confluence, and HipChat, all great Atlassian products.  Atlassian was a pioneer with HipChat, although today they are suffering at the hands of Slack. No doubt “The Innovator’s Dilemma” (Christensen, 2016) at work here.  I love solving problems; my days are relative, they are governed only by my ability to achieve flow. When I achieve flow a day could be three days, it goes by from my desk chair in a blink of an eye.  Other times two hours feels like an eternity as I struggle to achieve flow. My consistent objective for myself and others is to “achieve a state of flow that is defined as that state of mind where one is totally immersed in the present activity to the extent that nothing else can interfere or interrupt it.”  (Wilhelm, 2017)

Wilhelm in the “Finding flow: The power of motivation and pleasure” outlines key aspects of motivation that impact flow.  These closely align closely with autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

  1. Competence.  Put individuals in a role where they can demonstrate mastery or work toward mastery.
  2. Edginess.  Make sure the work is interesting and exciting.  I would say that the more mastery you develop on your team, the more focused you have to be on edginess.

Wilhelm also talks about pleasure and its importance in achieving flow.  Creating an environment that is immersive, intellectual and social that focuses on getting something functional done and has a concrete application.  Individuals expected to be stimulated and derive pleasure from conditions that inspire them; they want to accomplish something and feel the satisfaction that comes from doing something great that challenged them and is admired by others.

For me, I achieve this through a flat organization, a community of peers and a model that provides creative freedom, but challenges people to solve complex problems with an escalation path rather than management.  I look for people to manage up, rather than me managing down. I challenge all team members with the same open-ended challenges; I provide autonomy for team members to pick a project, to ensure it has a purpose (i.e. – it’s meaningful to you) and to work toward mastery.  Mastery could be a failed project, but an incredible presentation about the journey. People on the team have varied skill levels, they produce different outcomes, but they all learn something along the way and from each other and are encouraged to focus on the journey, not the destination.  I don’t alter the challenges to accommodate for differing roles, it’s up to you to steer yourself towards success; I challenge team members to think outside the box, to not get hung up on the minutia. We embrace the idea that nothing is extraordinary about any role, what’s extraordinary is the cognitive ability of every person on this team, you are all “stunning colleagues.” (Hastings, 2009, p. 24)  Every person has something unique to bring to the table, as a leader it’s my job to create a lens that puts each person in a position to grow and contribute.

In February we held a team meeting, and like all our team meetings there was a hackathon.  The project was to build something from a Raspberry Pi (Teach, Learn, and Make with Raspberry Pi, n.d.).  The parameters where simple, you had to come up with an idea, execute it and then explain to other attendees, why you choose the project, how you executed and finally what you built.  The idea was to challenge yourself, to build something cool but also to deliver the message using the Why, How, What model. (Sinek, n.d.)

Here is a time-lapse video of the event (for anyone interested):

We perpetuate this cultural experience with “Solve IT days”, our version of “ShipIt days” (ShipIt Days, n.d.) which we hold the first Thursday of every month.  The process works like this:

  • At the onset of each Solve IT Day (8 AM), I designate two team leaders.
  • Each team leader will:
    • Identify what they want to work on.
    • Assemble a team.
    • Have 24 hours to work on the problem.
  • At 8 AM on Friday each team will have one hour present what they worked on.

For me, it’s about culture every minute of every day.  Create the right culture, and everything else falls into place.  Money is a factor, but the interesting part is with higher performance money is less of a factor, when performance is poor money becomes a factor.  My philosophy is money is an outcome, it’s not a motivator, focus on the money, and you’ll struggle to get there, wherever there is.


Christensen, C. M. (2016). The innovators dilemma: When new technologies cause great firms to fail. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

Hastings, R. (2009, August 01). Culture. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. (2010, April 01). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from

ShipIt Days. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2018, from

Sinek, S. (n.d.). How great leaders inspire action. Retrieved March 17, 2018, from

Teach, Learn, and Make with Raspberry Pi. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2018, from

Wilhelm, J. D. (2017). Finding flow: The power of motivation and pleasure. Voices from the Middle, 25(1), 73-75. Retrieved from


Response Post

Scott, step 1, get out of that office and among the people (The Death of the Cubicle, 2016). 🙂 Personally, I prefer Enya for an outstanding in-flight nap, but when I need to work, I crank up some Iron Maiden. There is nothing like a little “Fear of the Dark” after all “I have a constant fear that something’s always near” or the “Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”, how do you not get motivated by this lyric:
“I’ve got to keep running the course,
I’ve got to keep running and win at all costs,
I’ve got to keep going, be strong,
Must be so determined and push myself on.”

BTW, I am pretty sure millennials have no idea that heavy metal is a genre of music. I try to assimilate them by singing Danzig at every karaoke event. I just can’t take the non-stop house music, where the artist is more electrical engineer than musician, but I suppose I should be happy no one is sleeping to Yanni. 🙂

I agree, with you, subtle recognition and inclusion are probably the two most essential motivators that I see. Creating a sense of exclusivity is a legacy strategy IMO, and many organizations are struggling to break free from a dying culture. Sticking with what worked twenty years ago and aiming to satisfy the needs of a workforce that is motivated by exclusive events as a reward is costing them the best and the brightest from a generation and the labor force that seeks inclusion.

My team conducts something we call “Solve IT Days” Where on the first Thursday I nominate two team leads, it’s their job to pick a problem, assemble a team and spend the next twenty-four hours on a solution. These sort of programs have been the topic of conversation and criticism (D’Onfro, 2015). We’ve constrained the program to a specific twenty-four hour period, and we ensure that while the leaders have creative freedom, the problem they are solving has to have some applicability to a business problem. I also a fan of failing, failing fast but not failing at the same thing more than once, we’re supposed to learn from the failure not repeat it. Fast failure and fail forward is something that has also come under scrutiny (Asghar, 2014), but we live in a time where over rotation tends to be the norm, I’m OK with failure, but we are not throwing failure parties, post-mortems with beer and pizza, yes, parties, no.


Asghar, R. (2014, July 14). Why Silicon Valley’s ‘Fail Fast’ Mantra Is Just Hype. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from

D’Onfro, J. (2015, April 17). The truth about Google’s famous ‘20% time’ policy. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from

The Death of the Cubicle. (2016, September 16). Retrieved March 31, 2018, from

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 4, Discussion 1

Discussion Post

Describe two of the three early theories of motivation and evaluate its applicability today. Why did you select these theories over the others?

The text discusses three early theories of motivation:

  1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory:  Maslow’s hierarchy of needs “hypothesizes that within every human being there is a hierarchy of five needs.” (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 101)
  2. Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene (Two-Factor) Theory:  Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene (two-factor) theory hypothesizes that there is a correlation between influencers (hygiene factors) and sentiment. (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 102)
  3. McClelland’s Theory of Needs:  McClelland hypothesized that there where three needs which acted as motivating factors.  (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 102) These needs are:
    1. Ned for achievement (nAch)
    2. Need for power (nPow)
    3. Need for affiliation (naAdd)

All three of these theories spoke to me in different ways, but I think that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and McClelland’s theory of needs are easier to understand as motivators, at least as initial motivators, and this is why I selected them. With this said once I explore Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and McClelland’s theory of needs I would like to touch on Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene (two-factor) theory because while it’s not as straightforward, it is by far the most interesting to me, more on this later.

First up, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow stated that every human being has five needs (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 101):

  1. Physiological needs (aka basic survival needs); like air, water, shelter, etc…
  2. Safety needs; physical emotional, economic security, etc…
  3. Social needs; belongingness, interaction, friendship, acceptance, etc…
  4. Esteem needs; internal needs like self-confidence, achievement, autonomy, etc… and external needs like status, recognition, attention, etc…
  5. Self-actualization needs; self-fulfillment, be all you can be, etc…

According to Maslow, the needs a serial (from 1 to 5 above) from both motivation and progression perspective. Once the basic physiological needs are met safety needs become the motivator, one safety needs are met social needs become the motivator, etc…
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is easy to understand, the idea that a human being can’t focus on security if they need to eat, or a human being is not worried about belonging if their focus is economic security, etc… With this said, I can see the criticism regarding accelerating through the hierarchy before a need is fully satisfied, for example needing social interaction before fully satisfying the safety needs.

McLelland’s theory of needs focused on three areas of need:

  1. Need for achievement (nAch); the drive to excel, to achieve in relation to a set of standard, to strive to succeed.
  2. Need for power (nPow); the need to impact or influence others.
  3. Need for affiliation (nAff); the need or desire to develop friendly and warm relationships with others. This need is similar to Maslow’s social need.

Both Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and McLelland’s theory of needs are easy to understand and easy to apply in today’s world. Most people are either motivated by necessity (e.g. physiological needs) or by accomplishment (e.g. – achievement, power, affiliation).  I also think it’s fair to state that even necessity can be subjective, as the text alludes to when stating the challenges with validation of the theory when applying to diverse cultures. (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 101)

Now, why is Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene (two-factor) theory so interesting to me? I found it interesting because motivators are great, but motivators don’t indicate the probability of success or failure. I think that when the two-factor theory is applied along with the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory or McClelland’s theory of needs, it would seem that there is an indicator of both the motivation and the probability of success. Hygiene factors are indicators of job satisfaction or as the text states “productivity” (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 101), and job satisfaction (autonomy, mastery, and purpose) is a key factor; when tasks become more complicated, when cognitive skills are required (RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us, 2010), I believe the two-factor theory may be the best indicator of the probability of success. With said we can also find data that support hygiene factors are clear motivators (Gawel, 1997, p. 2)


Gawel, J. E. (1997). Herzberg’s theory of motivation and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 5(11), 3.

How the Theory of Maslow Can Be Applied to Organizational Development. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. (2010, April 01). Retrieved January 28, 2018, from


Response Post

Andrew, excellent post.  I agree that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a personalized basic map of motivators. I also agree that the ability for someone (as a manager) to impact the basic and personalized needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is questionable. Satisfying someone’s thirst is probably more or a Samaritan role than a management role, but I digress. I think the challenge I have with Maslow’s theory applied in the context of organizational behavior is that is the physiological needs and the progressive aspect (the hierarchy) sort of blows it up for me, and I agree it seems a bit distant and maybe even a bit dated.

I too found that the two-factor theory was more about the impact I can have, the circumstance I can create to either motivate or demotivate others.

Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” It’s my job as a leader to pick the best talent and to create an environment where that talent can flourish. If I can do this successfully, I believe that we can transcend the paint-by-number hierarchy of needs, satisfying them in parallel, without concern for progression.

With this said I have read that the two-factor theory ignores blue-collar workers (MSG Management Study Guide, n.d.), and I would agree that the more fundamental the needs, the less applicable the two-factor theory. I am not sure this is about blue-collar or white-collar workers, but situational based on starting position circumstance. I think the difference is well outlined by this statement “In Maslow’s theory, any unsatisfied need of an individual serves as the motivator. Unlike in the case of Herzberg, only higher level needs are counted as the motivator.” (Surbhi, 2017)

Lastly, as leaders we can’t ignore the data, millennials have surpassed both Baby Boomers and Gen Xers to become the largest segment of the workforce (Fry, 2015) and hygiene matters more than anything to this generation. (Millennial Survey 2017 | Deloitte US, 2017)


Fry, R. (2015, May 11). Millennials surpass Gen Xers as the largest generation in U.S. labor force. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from

Surbhi, S. (2017, August 03). Difference Between Maslow and Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation (with Comparison Chart). Retrieved March 31, 2018, from

Millennial Survey 2017 | Deloitte US. (2017, July 10). Retrieved March 31, 2018, from

MSG Management Study Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2018, from

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 3 Assignment

Case Study I (Motivating Individuals)

This is an opportunity for you to apply what you have learned in the course, readings, discussions, and personal experiences into a well-developed analysis. There is no specific right or wrong answer with these cases, just a means to demonstrate your mastery of the knowledge.

Review the video in this week, RSA Animate – Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, and consider the various details associated with the theories they support. After examining all the data, consider an organization you know well and implement some of these ideas to increase motivation and effectiveness within your organization. Consider how the organizational culture impacts these ideas, how receptive leadership will be, and how employees will accept possible changes.

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Grade: 98%

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 3, Discussion 2

You are a senior manager tasked to develop a virtual team that will evaluate current business practices. Your boss wants this team assembled quickly and expects a short turnaround on any outcomes. 

Using some of the concepts and types of assessments described in this chapter, describe how you would quickly assemble this team and how you plan to overcome some of the expected challenges. 

Virtual teams have become the norm in the technology field, organizations are looking for the best minds, and geographic proximity to an office location is no longer a primary criterion. Let’s look at Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, the heart of the internet. Linus works from his walking desk in his basement and commands a developer community of more than ten-thousand developers. (Bort, 2015) Linus provides direction for a passionate and purposeful group community of developers who use their discretionary time to contribute to the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel development community is not a unique phenomenon in technology; the Open Source community is made up of people passionate about what they do, a quick look at the GitHub statistics from 2017 reveals the magnitude of this extraordinary community, constructed primarily of virtual teams. (GitHub Octoverse, 2017)

Linus Torvalds outlines the five things he has learned about managing software projects, the largest project being the Linux kernel development which relies on a massive virtual team. It comes as no surprise that all of the Big Five factors are touched upon by him in this article. (Torvalds, 2008)

In my opinion, there are some distinct differences in managing a virtual team vs. managing a team face-to-face. The number one criteria I look for in a virtual team member is passion because passion creates drive and drive is a difficult thing to control when managing a virtual team. To quickly assemble a team I would probably start by identifying those who possess the subject matter expertise required, then begin to look at self-report surveys and observer-ratings surveys (Robbins & Judge, 2018 p. 65) to gather a subjective and objective perspective on potential candidates. I would also leverage personality-assessment instruments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or other personality-assessment instruments, as well as discussions with peers and management to assess prospective candidates and better the probability of a best-fit scenario. (Robbins & Judge, 2018 p. 81) Given that this situation will he high-pressure with the expectation that the team will rapidly deliver outcomes I may apply the Trait Activation Theory (TAT).
Using TAT to predict situations that may “activate” a trait that could be detrimental to the team and the objective improves decision making and further increases the probability of a best-fit situation.
(Robbins & Judge, 2018 p. 81)

As someone who manages a virtual team, communication is critical. It’s important for people to be able to connect with each other even though they may not be in the same physical location.  Hosting quarterly, semi-annual or annual meetings where the team can interact and connect can be extremely valuable. It is also critical that virtual team members are comfortable using the tools available to them to facilitate virtual team collaboration, the telephone is not a tool of the trade. Learning how to efficiently use multi-party video conferences, asynchronous communication platforms, collaboration platforms like Google Docs, daily standups and other technologies and processes can significantly enhance virtual team cohesion.


Bort, J. (2015, February 22). Linus Torvalds runs one of the world’s most important software projects from a tiny ‘Zombie shuffling’ desk. Retrieved March 24, 2018, from

GitHub Octoverse 2017. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2018, from

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

Torvalds, L. (2008, August 04). Five Things Linus Torvalds Has Learned About Managing Software Projects. Retrieved March 24, 2018, from

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 3, Discussion 1

Why are values important for organizations and its employees? As a senior manager, do you feel this is an important area of focus of your main effort within your organization? (Give specific details).

Ah, values, the stories I could tell. Well, I will tell one just to set the stage. It was a Tuesday morning about three years ago, and I and about thirty others are attending a leadership meeting, complete with outside facilitators, I believe the SFO airport Marriott was the designated meeting location. The meeting consisted of leadership from sales, engineering, marketing, finance, human resource and other few other back-office divisions, the E-team (our executive leadership) and outside meeting facilitators. One of the key agenda items was to review a mission statement and core values which leaders across the company had been working on for close to a year. I don’t remember how the exactly how the discussion progressed, but I will do my best. One of the core values was “integrity”, along with others like customer-centric, accountability, teamwork and adaptability.

One group which contained two representatives from sales was charged with brainstorming the word “integrity” and how it applied. When it came time for them to read out their notes, flip chart or whatever the response was something like “we don’t really like the word integrity”, of course, the question of “why” quickly followed from a facilitator. The response was something like “as salespeople we need to bend the rules, and we just feel that integrity maybe should not be a core value”. Queue an explosion from executive management. It was actually quite comical, spurred some insightful debate and probably impacted some corporate culture changes.

The text states that values represent basic convictions, a mode of conduct that is personally or socially preferable and implies that the nature of values is judgmental. (Robbins & Judge, 2018 p. 75) Values are the bedrock of an organization’s culture, we hear the term “cultural fit” so often, without a deep understanding of an organizations culture, the measure of a cultural fit boils down to, do values align. Does en employees value system align with the organization’s value system, does one company’s value system align with another. I was recently in a meeting with a prospect where an executive team member from the customer asked the following “Before we get started, what are your core values because I like to know who I am about to do business with.”

As a member of the senior leadership team, I do feel this is a key area of focus within my organization. Over the past two years, the values and mission of the corporation have been taken very seriously, top performers who do not embody the organization’s values have are being confronted. Reed Hastings calls these people “Brilliant Jerks” and says “Some companies tolerate them, for us, the cost too effective teamwork is too high. Diverse styles are fine as long as the person embodies Netflix’s values.” (Hastings, 2009, p. 36)  We have adopted this philosophy as well, not easy, but required.
Sousa & Porto support the importance of values, stating that “values represent a core aspect of culture that influences behavior”. (Sousa & Porto, 2015 p. 2) Sousa & Porto further explain that PO (Person-Organization Fit) matters when it comes to job satisfaction by stating “Based on the evidence so far, it can be stated that there is a positive relationship between PO fit and positive consequences for the individual, such as satisfaction.” (Sousa & Porto, 2015 p. 2) Sousa & Porto provide empirical evidence which shows that alignment of OV (Organizational Values) and WV (Work ‘individual’ Values) has a direct correlation to employee happiness, stating that “agreement between higher levels of WV and OV prove to be associated with higher levels of happiness at work”. (Sousa & Porto, 2015 p. 7)

The text makes suggestions regarding implications for managers, tools and approaches which can be used to assess values, personality characteristics and fit, and offers guidance regarding diversity, social and emotional intelligence. (Robbins & Judge, 2018 p. 81) My organization makes use of tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Predictive Index (PI) to understand the personalities, of our leaders, peers, and subordinates, we ensure that our actions align with our core values, we always embrace diversity and leverage information to foster the development of social and emotional intelligence.


Hastings, R. (2009, August 01). Culture. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

Sousa, J. M. d., & Porto, J. B. (2015). Happiness at work: Organizational values and person-organization fit impact. Paideía, 25(61), 211-220. Retrieved from

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 2 Assignment

Integrated Article Review

You must select three peer-reviewed journal articles ( to read and analyze. These articles must cover a topic in Organizational Behavior that you have either read about or discussed within the class. Select a topic that interests you. You will take the main points or themes from each of these articles and integrate them into paper. The paper is not a literature review and should not be a simple listing of each article. These articles must be from peer-reviewed journal articles; do not use trade magazines, books, newspapers, and similar.


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Grade: 98%

FIT – MGT5013 – Week2, Discussion 2

Identify how attitudes in the workplace have changed throughout the years? (Do not go back any longer than two decades. Consider many factors such as media, events, and generational gaps.) Does this change impact the organizational culture?

My apologies for the late post, substantial travel, predictably poor United Wifi, a 68-hour contiguous work day and 90+ hour work week left me with limited options. My week this week is a true testament to organizational culture, and also to generational gaps. First off it’s hard to work nearly three days straight with no sleep, but myself and as well as eight others on my teams did so as we worked through a critical defect. I flew back from California on a red-eye last night and called my 78-year-old dad from the car on my way home from the airport at 8 AM this morning. Of course, we discussed his week and my week and his comment to me was “Son, when you take the number of hours you work and divide into your salary you make minimum wage”. There is a story to be told here. 🙂

If I am going to identify or discuss how the workplace has changed throughout the years and only go back two decades, essentially looking at the period starting 1998 to current day 2018, in my opinion, there is one place to focus, and it’s the era of the millennial. At the risk of rewinding a little too far without a focus beyond the last two decades. I am going to look back three generations to the Baby Boomers (~ 1946-1964), the post-WWII generation, this provides a little more context for some of my thoughts as well as the ability for me to leverage some of my personal experiences. Following the Baby Boomers we have Generation X (1965-1979), the generation I hail from, then the Millennials (~ 1981 – 1997), the generation which comprises the majority of the workforce which I interact with and manage on a daily basis.

As a Gen Xer, I carried forward many of the traits of my Baby Boomer parents, my Dad was born in 1940, so he is technically part of the Silent Generation, but close enough for this discussion. My parents were dutiful and respectful, and they passed traits and philosophies like don’t question your elders, obedience, being on time, acceptance, work will never kill you, and most importantly the Calvinist belief of working hard and being thrifty. I also think it’s important, at least contextually that I grew up with negative motivation, nothing was ever good enough, could have always done more, worked a little harder, etc… fear was and still is a primary motivator.

As a Gen Xer living in a millennial world, it is easy to become disillusioned, while fear motivates me and I am comfortable with it, this is not the case for the millennial generation. I have learned recent years that millennials are very talented, but a purpose is super important. From my experience, the millennial posses traits which focus on the greater good, culture is critical, and they value purpose over profits. How we communicate with the millennial generation differs significantly from prior generations. Millennials are looking to develop close relationships and receive frequent feedback.
(Myers, 2018) I find this interesting because the need for teamwork and consensus to de-risk themselves, the need for constant feedback, etc… seems to be counter to the need for autonomy. The reality is millennials work well in teams, they organize and communicate well, they are comfortable with team success, and they can produce great outcomes when put in situations which make them feel comfortable. There is no doubt that emotional intelligence is critical when navigating and motivating a multigenerational workforce. (Njoroge, 2014)

While we can look at the impact of social media, world events, etc… as influencers of organizational culture I believe they pale in contrast to the cultural shifts which have been created by generational gaps, specifically the entrance of the millennial philosophies into the workforce. Let me explain, sites like Glassdoor are posted to and read by millennials, they have a significant impact on organizational culture, organizational policy, etc… but I have never posted to Glassdoor. While I am interested in politics and I have political views, my reactions to the political climate once a decision is made, is one of acceptance, focusing on things I have direct control over to make a difference and moving on, this is not what I observe with the millennial generation. Millennials dream big, they believe they can impact massive change, this is all great stuff, but I also have found a fair amount of disillusionment.

All of these influencers have a tremendous impact on organizational culture. I believe that most of the cultural changes have been extremely positive, of course not every change is rainbows and unicorns, but from a macro perspective, the changes have been extremely positive.


American Generation Fast Facts. (2017, August 27). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from

Glassdoor Job Search | Find the job that fits your life. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from

Myers, K. K., & Sadaghiani, K. (2010). Millennials in the workplace: A communication perspective on millennials’ organizational relationships and performance. Journal of Business and Psychology, 25(2), 225-238.

Njoroge, C. N., & Yazdanifard, R. (2014). The impact of social and emotional intelligence on employee motivation in a multigenerational workplace. International Journal of Information, Business and Management, 6(4), 163.

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

Response 1

Steve, great post. You make a good point regarding the average number of jobs held in a lifetime. It’s interesting after reading your post, writing a couple myself as well as this weeks assignment, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about organizational behavior, corporate culture, etc… I also focused a fair amount of time on millennials as the lens which magnified an inevitable cultural shift.

As I think about the point you’ve brought up regarding the velocity and frequency with which people make jobs moves, I am reminded that in my field most people are incredibly focused on personal mastery, what they do is a lifestyle, it’s who they are. We all maintain Github repositories; spend hours a day reading and posting on StackOverflow, our day is spent time-slicing between corporate initiatives and contribution to Open Source projects, and we try to align the two as much as possible. The business seems to have less control than ever because they need the developers, but often struggle to quantify their activities. This is such a pervasive movement that books like “The New Kingmakers” have chronicled the developer sub-culture and the control it commands.

“‘GitHub’s Zack Holman suggests that employers should “[i]mprison your employees with happiness and nice things and cuddly work processes.’ GitHub itself does just that with flexible hours, excellent compensation and benefits packages, an enjoyable work environment, an in-house kegorator, and more. The results speak for themselves: incredibly, GitHub has never lost an employee.” (Ogrady, 2013, p. 47)

If you know you have an insanely motivated workforce, the case for “The New Kingmakers” then you just need to figure out how to hold onto them. Easier said than done, companies might want you to do X, Y or Z, all might be reasonable requests, but “The New Kingmaker” will just go next door.


Build software better, together. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from

OGrady, S. (2013). The New Kingmakers. OReilly Media.

Stack Overflow – Where Developers Learn, Share, & Build Careers. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 2, Discussion 1

Discuss the different ways management can increase job satisfaction within the organization. Look at unique ways besides simply increasing pay or bonuses.

My apologies for the late post, substantial travel, predictably poor United Wifi, a 68-hour contiguous work day and 90+ hour work week left me with limited options. For as long as I can remember the satisfaction I received from working on puzzles and solving complex problems has always overshadowed the pain endured getting there.

I recently received an email from our VP of Human Resources thanking me for my dedication and leadership. I responded to this email stating the following:

I really love this stuff and I am a very lucky individual. I just spend my days trying to inspire others to love it as much as I do (or to get somewhere close).
Thankful to my parents for that TRS-80 and the acoustic coupler they bought me in the early 80s, the phone bills they let me run up, their tolerance of me sitting in front of the computer for hours-and-hours as a kid and the fact that I grew up in a time where they didn’t take me to a doctor because of it.
Thankful for the latitude I have been given much of my career to just execute.
In reality, it’s pretty easy for me, because I love it, there’s truly nothing I would rather be doing than sitting in front of a computer, I’d be worried if I wasn’t at least OK at it.

I think it’s important to start by defining job satisfaction. “Job satisfaction is defined as the extent to which employees like their work.” (Harter, 2002 p. 27) The text states that job satisfaction and job involvement, the degree which an individual identifies psychologically with their job. (Robbins, 2018 p. 37) I always have used employee engagement as the primary metric for job satisfaction. My belief has always been if I can increase employee engagement then I can increase job satisfaction. To be and remain relevant in my chosen profession requires immense personal investment, without employee engagement, success is out of reach. I believe something called the “Blue Button Moment” (Your Best Agile User Story, n.d.) captures the essence of employee engagement, and how the outcomes differ based on engagement. The “RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us” (RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us., 2010) video also captures engagement when it discusses engagement and the importance of self-direction, autonomy, mastery, and purpose. The video uses the Open Source movement to demonstrate the shift from the profit motive to the purpose motive.

My organization does a number of things to drive engagement.
We leverage gamification and peer accolades heavily using platforms like DueProps (DueProps, n.d.) and HeyTaco (HeyTaco, n.d.) provide incremental rewards, focused on mastery, purpose and peer recognition.
My company has published and well-understood core values and every individual is expected to be aligned with these values. Our core values are: Customer Centric, Accountability, Teamwork, Integrity, and Adaptability. (FusionStorm Culture, n.d.)
We also have a corporate mission statement which is: “As experienced technology leaders we are committed to always executing for our clients. We are passionate about solving clients’ unique business problems through innovative solutions. We evolve, reinvent, and push boundaries of what’s possible through our community of employees, clients, and partners.” (FusionStorm Culture, n.d.)

Each division of the organization is challenged to create a mission or vision statement that aligns with the corporate messaging but also fosters thought and alignment with divisional objectives. The mission statement of my team is: “To operate each and every day with such belief, heart, and grit that it inspires and compels our peers, prospects, and customers to see things our way.” (Bocchinfuso, 2018)

We challenge people with fun team-oriented activities like hackathons and SolveIT Days, modeled after Atlassian ShipIt Days (ShipIt Days, n.d.).
Earlier this month we conducted a team meeting which included a Raspberry Pi hackathon, here a time-lapse video from the FusionStorm Expert Services Kickoff 2018 Meeting. (FusionStorm Expert Services 2018 Kickoff, 2018)
All the prep for the Raspberry Pi projects was done on discretionary time, not much discretionary time exists when you work a job that routine demands twelve to fifteen hours days, but the team was highly committed and driven by purpose and mastery. There was no reward other than personal fulfillment, following the completion of all the presentations we conducted a peer vote to identify who demonstrated the best vision and execution. The top two finishers will attend OSCON 2018 in Portland, OR with me in July for a week of learning and they are super excited, but they didn’t know this until after the projects were done, this was not their motivation.

It has become nearly impossible for unengaged employees to survive in our culture, and we relentlessly pursue a culture rooted in autonomy, mastery, and purpose. These drivers have become pervasive throughout the hi-tech sector and were summed up very well in a passage from an article published in the Winter 2017-2018 issue of 2600 Magazine. The snippet from the article reads as follows:
“If you want to enter the world of hackers, programmers, hardware/software/network engineers and the like as a profession, you better do it with passion and with a mindset that is not of a regular office worker. Live it, breathe it, learn it – build your experience, think outside of the box, tinker, design, test. It cannot be a job – it must be part of your life. If not, there’s the door. Do it as a hobby, or find something different to do. This is not just a job for many of us. It is our world, our life’s work, our passion, our dream that for some has become reality. Don’t devalue it by just making it another job. If you want to treat it as just a job – as I said before – leave! And don’t let the door hit you on the way out!” (Ells, 2017)


Your Best Agile User Story. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from

DueProps. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from

Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., & Hayes, T. L. (2002). Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: a meta-analysis. Journal of applied psychology, 87(2), 268.

Ells, S. (2017). The Problem with IT Certifications and Their Contribution to the Devaluation of Technology. 2600 Magazine: The Hacker Quarterly, 34(3). Retrieved October 9, 2017, from

FusionStorm Culture. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from

FusionStorm Expert Services 2018 Kickoff. (2018, March 03). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from

HeyTaco! (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. (2010, April 01). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from

ShipIt Days. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from


Professor Response

I enjoyed your response but there are distringuishers between job satisfaction, job involvement, and engagement. Personally, I am not a fan of the term ‘engagement’ as it doesn’t really focus on what is needed for an worker to be involved in the work they do. Engagement means that one has some level of satisfaction and is committed to achieving the goals of the organization; what is missing is the psychological part which raises one’s passions and motivation to tap into their skills and abilities and get the work done. Your organization sounds like it s committed to having happy employees.

As an aside, last year I was seeking some help for some marketing with my business. The high-level person I was meeting with asked me what my bottom-line, end-result was, to which I replied “happiness,’ This person scoffed and said ‘Who would buy that?” Needless to say, I did not return but I think it shows the mentality of some corporate in that happiness is an elusive concept, so more tangibles should be the focus, such as pray or productivity when, really, workers just want to be happy in their jobs. Considering that employees spend the majority of their time at work (the other majority is in sleep), and being with people who are not family or friends, why wouldn’t workplace happiness be the goal.


My Response to Professor

Professor, some excellent insights and I agree that a word like “engagement” is a bit nebulous.  I also think that “happiness” is a great goal, and that happy employees probably produce the best widgets so there is a correlation between happiness and “who would buy that”.  I have always mapped engagement to what one does with their discretionary time.  Working in a highly technical field, it’s hard to be successful if you love cooking and would rather be in a kitchen crafting culinary delights rather than in front of a computer looking at source code.  I’ve lived through the profit motive and in some ways I am still living it, ask some high-level folks within my organization what their goals are and they will respond with “more, more revenue, more gross profit, etc..”, the profit motive is clearly unmoored from the purpose motive.  As a leader, I view it as my responsibility to ensure that those who respond like the individual who said to you “who would buy that”, know that human capital is the most important thing we possess, without the right human capital there will be nothing to sell.  With said accountability should not impact happiness, this is why I think a true passion for what you do is important.  In a high-pressure, fast-paced culture loving what you do makes all the difference regarding happiness, because check out to refuel often isn’t an option.


Response 1

Scott, excellent post, as usual, you always do a nice job of personalizing your point which I enjoy. I think you hit a key point regarding job satisfaction; everyone finds different ways to identify satisfaction, the work, the people, the mission, etc… Sometimes these are tightly couples and other times they are mutually exclusive.

Want to hit on the “I like my job because I like the people I work with” topic because I am dealing with this at the moment, where an individual likes (“loves”) their job because they like the people they get to work with every day, but there is a problem. While this person is being honest and is also well liked it’s unclear if this individual enjoys the work, as time passes this becomes a more significant issue because it’s hard for this individual to invest the time required to perform the level being demanded of them. It’s a challenge. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 🙂

I agree with you meeting point. I have adopted the Amazon six-pager (Jeff Bezos’s Peculiar Management Tool for Self-Discipline, 2017) and the “two pizza rule” (Giang, 2013) approach to meetings.

When I think about work from home I think about flexibility and autonomy; my philosophy is I am where I need to be. I fly 100K+ miles a year, I go to customer sites, the office when required, but if my calendar has me on video conferences all day I am not wasting the commute time, it’s just common sense. Being there is no longer 90% of the battle, there is significantly more nuance to consider when making these decisions. I would argue that with the dawn of the video conference, the smartphone, Email shifting to real-time chat platforms like Slack (Hulick, 2016) and HipChat the idea that remote worker is working less is probably coming from someone who has never been restrained by these technological shackles. When you can’t see someone you expect them to respond because you know they got the message, we’re way past an Orwellian version of 1984.


Giang, V. (2013, October 29). The ‘Two Pizza Rule’ Is Jeff Bezos’ Secret To Productive Meetings. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from

Hulick, S. (2016, February 29). Slack, I’m Breaking Up with You – UX of User Onboarding. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from

Jeff Bezos’s Peculiar Management Tool for Self-Discipline. (2017, Feb 04). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 1, Discussion 2

How can an organization effectively manage diversity? How does this apply to an organization you know well? Consider the various concepts discussed within the chapter when developing this response. Also, I am looking for unique solutions for the difficult problems encountered.

I think at one point or another we’ve all felt discriminated against, to young, too old, not well dressed enough, what’s with the facial hair, etc… These prejudices maybe are not as caustic or polarizing as discriminatory issues associated with race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, gender or sexual orientation but in my experience, there is no shortage of stereotyping in humanity and as the text states it’s these predispositions that fuel workplace discrimination.

My company mandates training for diversity and other associated topics. Just yesterday I received my annual invite to “Preventing Workplace Harassment Training” hosted by emtrain ( I love this training, complete with a warning system that resembles the color-coded terrorism threat advisory system devised by the Homeland Security Agency, and the vignettes that seem so preposterous. Then, of course, we hear stories about people like Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose and we realize that the vignettes are actually pretty pedestrian in comparison to reality. Training is one way that my organization and other organizations work to manage diversity. My company and the HR department is also big on Emotional Intelligence, developing Emotional Intelligence can help us to be more aware, understand how what we say and do might be perceived, how our position within an organization can impact perceived intent, etc… Sure there are clear areas of discrimination which are binary, but often intent plays a big role where things aren’t so binary, self-awareness can help us better understand how our intent might be perceived. Tools like 360-degree assessments (aka reviews) can help us better understand our behaviors and how we are perceived, this candid feedback can help us become better leaders and people.

I tend to be a very direct person, but not everyone responds well to my direct approach. I am lucky to work in an environment which is very diverse, I enjoy differing perspectives, but I have a low tolerance for workplace politics. For years I had a general refusal to help subordinate peers work through their issues with each other, I would provide wise words like “you two need to work this $%#^ out because it has no place in the workplace”, yeah, that never really worked out all that well. 🙂 About four years ago we hired a new VP or HR who became active in the day to day operations; this was really helpful for me, I was now able to talk through issues with this person, and they would provide sound objective advice on how to best handle the situation. As an engineer, and not someone who sees focuses on the difference between people, instead focusing on what they have to offer, I did realize that I wasn’t taking the time to understand others and as a leader, this could be perceived as discriminatory.

When I read about things like wage inequality based on sexual orientation (Ozeren, 2014, p. 5) or flat out disqualifying someone based on sexual orientation (Ozeren, 2014, p. 6) it seems mind-boggling to me personally, but we are culturally polarized on this topic like so many other topics, so objectively speaking the facts are not all that surprising.

One thing I started doing a couple of years ago was using an online tool called to write my job descriptions to improve the diversity of applicants and to ensure that I am using words, phrases, and tone that allows me to recruit the best and brightest candidates. leverages big data, machine learning, and natural language processing to analyze and compare job listings with other companies competing for same diverse and talented individuals.

The World Is Flat (great book by Thomas L. Friedman by the way, I highly recommend it), and we live in a global economy; in my opinion diversity should no longer a have to be driven by mandates (e.g – EOE and AAP), because it’s the fuel by which companies will grow in the future. Sadly we still need programs like EOE and AA, but I am hopeful that one-day humanity will transcend race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, etc… and allow us to realize Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream fully.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Much progress has been made since Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail written on April 16, 1963, and the “I Have A Dream” address he delivered in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963, but there is more work to be done. The more diverse our subcultures become, the more diverse our culture becomes.


Boyatzis, D. G. (2017, December 05). Emotional Intelligence Has 12 Elements. Which Do You Need to Work On? Retrieved March 09, 2018, from

Ozeren, E. (2014). Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace: A Systematic Review of Literature. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 109, 1203-1215. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.12.613

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.


Response 1

Scott, love the reference to “Full Metal Jacket”.  I’ll admit I’ve known a few people over the years who may have benefitted from a bar of soap and sock.  In all seriousness what happen to Private Leonard Lawrence better known as “Private Pyle” in the film shows the danger of groupthink in a caustic culture.  Was everyone with a bar of soap in a sock a bad person?  Did Pfc. Louden Downey and Lance Cpl. Harold Dawson wants to carry out the code red on Pfc. William Santiago?  See how I switched films on you there but stayed with the theme. 🙂  While I think that training is critical, leadership is probably the most glaring problem in both of these cases and in most cases where discrimination and harassment are pervasive.  Sure we could say the leaders weren’t properly trained, but they should be the trainers, and of course, the trainers need to be trained but they are in leadership positions personally I expect more.  Then again I find myself let down often by my expectations.


Tsai, Y. (2011). Relationship between Organizational Culture, Leadership Behavior and Job Satisfaction. BMC Health Services Research, 11(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-98


Response 2

Steve, I agree with Scott regarding training, but my question is when does the training begin.  I propose it starts much earlier than when an individual enters the workforce and is subjected to organizational diversity training.  The muscle memory created when I minds are most malleable will likely persist for a long, long time and while these predispositions can be masked the judging and stereotyping that lies beneath the social facade continues to fuel discriminatory behavior.

I read these two articles recently:

The situations Sheryl Sandberg outline is very real, dangerous and disturbing.  We have to start aggressively training humanity, these are problems that end up in organizations, but I don’t believe they originate there, nor do I believe they can be rectified there.