Category Archives: Agility

Motivation factors

My origins are based on education and experience I gained within the domain of industrial engineering and scientific management. After joining the IT industries, I eventually was working as a product Manager for a software product.

I never was pleased with the outcome of what we developed at that time. I wondered whether I could improve that situation by motivating my teammates. As a consequence, I read the book »Motivating Employees«. While reading it, I always asked myself wether the concepts would motivate myself. The answer always was »No. It would rather demotivate me.«. Thus my personal verdict read as:

I cannot motivate people. People only can motivate themselves. But there are a lot of things I can do to demotivate people.

But why is that? Don’t we all witness day by day that extrinsic motivation is an excellent tool to increase performance?

The answer is: »Well, it depends.«. The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) published a quite popular video based on a talk of Daniel H. Pink. Here’s the essential content:

As long as the task involved used only mechanical skills, bonuses worked as expected. Once the task called for rudimentary cognitive skills, a larger reward led to poorer performance.

[…]
3 factors lead to better performance & personal satisfaction…

  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Purpose

Similar content appears in a posting published by Oscar Berg. Via Twitter he also shared the embedded venn diagram:

As I linked to this diagram a couple of years ago, I did the self test wether the things surrounded by the right circle did motivate myself. The answer was nine times »Yes, that’s me«.