Would you willingly do this? Perhaps? Me? Err, No! Motivation means want to do, probably enthusiastically. And, you know what? This is something that really just doesn’t grab me.
Talking of motivation, this brings me to back to my series of blogs exploring the 2F diagram of organisation where we come to Morale and motivation as an outcome of the organisation.
Why are these outcomes? It’s because they arise as a result of the actions of every element in an organisation system on one another, especially those of leaders and managers. The prevailing Zombie Management myth has it that to get results, performance or whatever, only requires managers to motivate their people. Just like that!
Leadership expert Peter J Scholtes once wrote,
The belief that they can motivate workers is one of the ultimate management conceits. Managers cannot motivate; however they can demotivate.
In his classic book The Leader’s Handbook he also wrote:
All of the empowered, motivated, teamed-up, self-directed, incentivized, accountable, reengineered, and reinvented people you can muster cannot compensate for a dysfunctional system.
Hence, morale and motivation are shown as outcomes in the operational level of the 2F Diagram of the organisation. And Peter goes on to lay responsibility for the organisational system squarely on leadership and management.
Want to find out more about the 2F Diagram?
You can buy copies of my book Picture Your Business about it by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is zombie management I hear you say? It’s management that needs to feed off the living, but doesn’t know it is dead, i.e. outdated. It just keeps on doing the same old stuff over and over again and expects to get different results. I know. It’s Einstein’s definition of madness. Usually zombie management is heavily into targets accompanied by rewards and punishment, because it thinks can motivate people.
Motivation has been divided into two types. Intrinsic motivation is taking on challenges you enjoy doing for their own sake, which maximise your potential as a person. Extrinsic motivation is when others try to get you to do something they want you to do using carrot and stick methods, AKA just reward and punishment.
The problem with extrinsic motivation is that people quite sensibly are attracted by the rewards and try to avoid the pain. They will do anything to get the one and avoid the other, except the job required to be done in the best interests of the customer and the business. This includes CEO’s!
Because of the inconvenient fact that the actions of every element in an organisation on each other you get unexpected and often undesirable side effects from extrinsic motivation. Don’t believe me? Just look around. Manufacturing long ago gave up piecework incentives programmes because people essentially were getting paid for producing scrap. Another example is sales people selling whatever they can to meet their sales target, even if this causes immense problems in the business.
So how does the alternative intrinsic motivation work if you don't use reward and punishment? Experts, such as Abraham Maslow and Frederick Herzberg, long ago showed that it is the ‘higher’ things that release the intrinsic motivation within people. Herzberg listed achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility and, lastly, advancement and growth. Are you giving people the opportunity to do work that provides this?
Leaders can really help these provide these factors with an inspirational project or vision that people want to be involved in and contribute to without extrinsic motivation. When you look at things like Linux and Wikipedia that people volunteer their time for, surely you can believe that people are born with intrinsic motivation? Oh yes to be effective, leaders and managers must actually model the behaviour and not just spout BS.
In the words of Dirty Harry, Do you feel lucky? Well do you? Are you going to go on doing the same old stuff? Or will you try something different? Ahh go on. You might surprise yourself.
As the Simply Manage Coach my aim is to help you do things more simply…
Using the Simply Manage Star® , business owners, managers and their teams are guided to working out ways forward on motivation and other challenges. By blending formal and informal learning with coaching, mentoring and the new media you can have a solution that works for you.
Want to find out more about how I can help you? Simply drop me an email to...
Also do feel free to share your questions below.