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Mastery refers to the desire to get better and better. Our workplaces have a checklist mentality; they are places with too much compliance and too little engagement. As Pink eloquently puts it, compliance “might get you through the day, but only (engagement) will get you through the night.”14 Organizations benefit by fully supporting the development their employee’s capabilities. We discussed the concept of flexible deployment in Chap. 4 and a tool for coordinating this: the skills matrix.

The driver for flexibly deploying an employee’s skills is transitioning away from specialization and its shortcomings. Yet another driver for flexible deployment is mastery across a wider array of competencies outside the employee’s job specification. Apart from tapping intrinsic motivational forces, flexible deployment—as mentioned in Chap. 3—assists the employability of the person and cultivates a climate of agility for the business.

So, as well as employability, a coordinated flexible deployment program offers more opportunities for mastery in a wider variety of tasks and skills. You’ll recall I suggested using extrinsic rewards, in the form of bonus pay, for the successful mastery of new skills. This might sound contradictory. But the idea of these bonuses is to make a clear statement that flexible deployment—as opposed to specialization—is an important building block for agile performance. But the inherent internal drive for mastery ought to be the primary motivation from the person’s perspective.

I’ve more to say about development and mastery in Chap. 10.

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