Author Pink Speaks at NCI
NCI’s Office of Workforce Planning and Development hosted an event with best-selling author Daniel Pink on Feb. 26.
He discussed his latest book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, before an audience of 200 employees and fellows. The book draws on a range of scientific research in the fields of psychology, biology, economics and anthropology to illuminate the essential keys to timing our decisions and actions to thrive personally and professionally.
During his hour-long talk, Pink focused on the importance of midpoints and endings—both in life and in projects—and how to use the research about these two periods to make more informed choices and employ strategic actions.
As he explained it, productivity is often low at the beginning of a project and declines to its lowest point when the midpoint is reached. The midpoint serves as a galvanizing effect—what Pink calls “the uh-oh effect”—on both individuals and teams, often creating increased productivity as the end approaches. Pink encouraged using interim goals, which can function as artificial endpoints, to enhance productivity through a project/activity’s life cycle.
Endings serve several purposes: they energize us as the end draws near, they help us encode our experience, they force us to edit and focus on what is really important and they elevate us. Yet many people discount the importance of endings. Pink encourages leaders to be thoughtful and strategic about how they end something—as the ending shapes people’s entire perception of what came before.
Following his talk, Pink engaged in a 30-minute question-and-answer session with the audience and autographed copies of his book.—Shannon Connolly