Albert Wenger writes:

As part of my thinking about a possible World After Capital, I have been looking into human needs. A framework that is frequently mentioned in that context is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is a great example of something that remains a popular reference point despite being largely a conjecture and having been superseded by subsequent research (which tends to be much less well known).

There are two psychological needs though that appear to be quite robust across different studies: purpose and recognition. Apparently most of us do much better if we have a strong answer to why we are doing something and having someone else recognize our efforts. On this basis it makes a lot of sense why many people in the Rust Belt are suffering. We live in a society that (wrongly) equates work with purpose. So if your work goes away so does your purpose. Add to that the feeling that your plight is not being recognized and you have a toxic combination. …

One of the most common mistakes I observe among entrepreneurs in leading their company is that they keep too much in their head. They have the whole vision, mission and strategy there and know for themselves how a particular piece of work fits with it (probably my manager knew the answer also). But instead of communicating that again and again they simply keep it locked up in their head. And it is easy to see why that happens. Communicating takes time. Time they feel they don’t have…

Recognition is equally powerful. Even when you know why you are doing something, if your work is not recognized you will eventually become demotivated. …

As a society as we are heading away from traditional work we need to think hard about where purpose and recognition come from. In the meantime though as entrepreneurs and investors we should help live this in companies.

Purpose, recognition, communication.