Ownership is what makes people care about outcomes. If you own your car, you care whether or not it gets scratched, remains clean inside, retains its value, etc. If you own your house, you care about its long term condition, the impact changes on your street will alter its general appearance, and how town policies and school systems might impact its resale value. People care about leased cars and rented homes – but not because they truly care – but because they have a legal obligation to care. Ownership creates a situation in which people are driven to truly care and work hard for the desired outcome because it is theirs, and no one else’s.
In the working environment, the best strategy for success is to engender ownership in the tasks that people do. Telling someone they should do a good job because “they’re lucky to have a job” or “because I said so” won’t motivate them nearly as much as telling them that “it’s your baby….make it or break it.” Do not underestimate the power of ownership to motivate people. If they own it, they will truly care about the outcome AND be happier doing the task at hand.