Frequently, people ask me “where do the Maps come from?” This question is very important, because it is not only about the origins of the Maps – the thinking that they might be rooted in – but also about their validity. Anyone who has created a product or service will know, especially if they are trying to do something relatively new, that the question of validity is a battle that never truly ends. One is reminded a little of the questions of the Pharisees when they interrogate Jesus, “On whose authority do you say these things?” People want to know what “authority” we have to create something, or change something, or make a statement about the world. Whilst the Motivational Map is ISO certified (17065), and has been proven “in action” for over fourteen years, these are not, in themselves, enough to address the question of “validity” and “authority” when it is raised in earnest. Something more is required, and it is my intention to shed light on that something!


But before I go on to answer this question “Where do the Maps come from?”, it’s worth me saying what the Maps are in the here and now. The Motivational Map is a self-perception inventory that measures what motivates us and how motivated we are in our current role. It is a tool that offers us insight into what really drives us and energises us, both in the workplace and beyond.


The Maps have their roots in three primary sources: Edgar Schein’s Career Anchors, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and the Enneagram. There is a common misconception that the Map is a “personality profiling” tool, but nothing could be further from the truth. The thing about personality profiles is that they are more pervasive, and therefore more familiar to organisations. In addition, they are easier to validate because, by definition, they always produce the same result, which researchers love. However, Maps does not measure fixed personality archetypes, but rather internal drivers which stem from core belief systems. The oft-forgotten playwright Christopher Marlowe once wrote the line “Aye, think so still, till experience change thy mind” (Dr Faustus, 1604). Our beliefs change over time with new experiences (or at least, they do if we are healthy and not completely close-minded), and so our internal drivers will also change in correlation to changes in our beliefs. This is not to say that some motivators may not be fixed in place for a very long time, perhaps even a lifetime, but unlike personality profiling tools, we do not reduce people to one archetype (though I recognise here there are exceptions, such as Myers Briggs, that offers a more multifaceted analysis), but recognise that we likely have more than one motivator and driver and also de-motivators.



In fact, by cross-examining the Career Anchors, Hierarchy of Needs, and Enneagram, I discovered that there were nine motivators driving human behaviour, and that these nine motivators were grouped into three sets of three due to properties that they shared. For example, some motivators were directed toward the future: creating new things, seeking freedom and independence, and making a difference to others. Others, were more rooted in the past: security and predictability, belonging, and recognition. This was also correlated by the models I had used to construct the Maps, as the Career Anchors were more focused on “work goals” (therefore future orientated), the Hierarchy of Needs on present concerns (present “needs” literally), and the Enneagram on a more fixed and rooted “past self” (although it does also have a model for growth in that there are personality types we need to move “toward” to overcome our deficiencies and blindspots). It should be noted that in terms of the “pyramid” of Maslow’s Hierarchy, the nine motivators sit above the level of “survival” or “biological needs” (such as food, and shelter). Therefore, they are what might be called “secondary” drivers. Still, having said that, these drivers are awesomely powerful, and once we are fed and watered, they will dictate to us what our true priority is.


I have talked about the nine motivators, so it is worth me now explaining what each of these are:


DEFENDER – the need for security

FRIEND – the need for belonging

STAR – the need for recognition

DIRECTOR – the need for control

BUILDER – the need for material gain

EXPERT – the need for knowledge

CREATOR – the need to create

SPIRIT – the need for independence and freedom

SEARCHER – the need to make a difference


The Nine Motivators
The Nine Motivators

I mentioned that unlike personality profiling, we do not reduce people to one archetype. This is because, learning from Maslow, we actually have all nine motivators in our profile. We need all nine, in fact, in order to be fully happy and rounded human beings. However, these are in an order of priority. If one were to think of the nine motivators as ingredients in a dish, then each person has a unique recipe, requiring different quantities of these ingredients. What the Maps does is give you a detailed breakdown of that secret recipe, so that you, and also the people around you, can take action and feed your motivations.


One important thing to mention is that most people believe they already know what motivates them, but when faced with a Maps report, or some other evidence of their inner drivers, they often find themselves stunned and surprised (but accepting) of the truth, because it is rarely as they imagined it to be. As I mentioned earlier, our motivations are linked to our core beliefs, and therefore, they are deeper than conscious thought and occupy the realm of emotion – which is irrational and deeper. We may “think” we want secure jobs, or a nice house, or a fast car, but deeper within our psyche lie our real motivators, which might tell and entirely different story. By tapping these deeper drivers, we can access a reservoir of energy and enthusiasm that can fuel us in our day-to-day lives and lead us to success and fulfilment. They say, “If you do a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” and I am a profound believer in that statement. When we do work we love, aka: that fulfils our motivators, we are in a state of “play”, like a child, and is there anything more joyful than that?


So, to answer the question of “where do the Maps come from?”, is in some ways an analog of the entire process of “Mapping Motivation”. Our motivations lie within us, and have done all along. The Maps come from a desire to understand and chart these vast, yet hidden, psychological territories.




If you want to find out more about the Maps, where they come from, how they work, and how you can use them to improve your relationships with other people and most importantly yourself, then you can take a look at my book Mapping Motivation, which is a complete and comprehensive guide to the Maps!


Interview with a BP #10 Richard Knight

The organisations that are really going to thrive out of this are the ones that recognise there are certain people who can work remotely, and there are certain people who can’t. It’s all about energy. If I haven’t got it, if I’m sat at home with low motivation, I’m not going to be able to operate effectively. It just underlines what a massive opportunity this is.

Becoming a Business Practitioner is a big step, but the rewards are also tremendous. We wanted to speak with our BPs and get a sense of what they felt the biggest challenges and rewards of being a BP were, as well as foreground the amazing work they do. This interview with Richard Knight is our tenth instalment, revealing the secrets of life as a BP and the incredible difference they make in the Maps community and beyond.

Richard Knight (2018_08_10 05_27_59 UTC)


Richard Knight is customer-experience director of Insight6, and a performance consultant at Switch Performance Ltd. He is a qualified Business Practitioner of Motivational Maps and certified practitioner of NLP.



HR Friend (2017_08_02 10_18_52 UTC)I did the questionnaire just before the coronavirus hit, actually! I first did it when I had just left the big corporate world after twenty years in the pharmaceutical industry. My wife was still working in the corporate world, then, so I was Friend, Searcher, Creator. Since having done that my wife has joined the organisation so I’ve flipped round now, so I’m a Builder, Searcher, Creator! If you’re a Practitioner, you have simply got to do the Map again, whether it’s six months or nine months on, you have to!”


In regards to Builder, I remarked that with so many psychometrics there’s a negative implication to some of the results. One of my colleagues recently completed Colours and was really angered by his result as “a yellow”, whereas the great thing about the Map is that all the motivators are equal. Having said that, we do still tend to have some hang-ups about Builder and Defender!


That’s an interesting one. You know, I work with a lot of Pharma, and the sales teams in that are fascinating, because you’d think they’re just pure Builder: sell, sell, sell, but actually, a lot of them are high Searcher. They’re selling something that could potentially save someone’s life, so there’s profound meaning in that.”


The interrelationship of the motivators is an intriguing topic.


It’s interesting though because my Creator motivator is driven by communication. I can’t sit on my own and come up with whacky ideas and new ways of doing things. But when I’m chatting with somebody… A good example is I was putting together a webinar on ‘Customer service through lockdown’ yesterday, sat with a colleague on Zoom like now, and we were going back and forth. That’s how my creativity works. For my energy to come through my Creator – I still have to have that connection piece. So this also highlights the interdependence of the motivators. I keep saying it to LPs: We’ve got a top three and a bottom one because we have to from a reporting standpoint, but make sure we give clarity around how these things work together.”


I asked how being a BP had changed his Maps practice.


Being a BP has enabled me to work more closely with other Licensed Practitioners, and to understand where they’re coming from. I have a number of Practitioners who work in the pharmaceutical industry and that’s really quite a big area for understanding the motivators for teams that a lot of the time are spread across the country. The Licensed Practitioners we’ve got are used to dealing with teams with people in multiple corners of the country and across multiple nations as well. Now we’ve got changes to the way we’re working – the use of technology – how that’s impacting motivation levels. I think having stayed as a Licensed Practitioner I wouldn’t have seen that. It’s also interesting to see how other people are developing their businesses as well!”


I wondered if he’d noticed any particular patterns in regards to motivation and the use of technology in our current state of lockdown, where people of all generations are having to go online to socialise and connect.


I think there is definitely some lethargy now around the use of the tech. But, this is quite interesting, from an employeemotivational point of view, I also think there are some positives out of the technology. You’re very much governed by time-setting diaries. There isn’t the chance to say, ‘Oo, can I keep you for another minute?’ You’re very much more Director motivator! You have the mute button; you can close the meeting! But with back-to-back Zoom calls, from an ‘energy’ and motivation level, you’ve got to monitor the number of these things you do in a day. This is the third one I’ve done today, and that’s enough. I’ve done days where I’ve done four and you can feel physically that energy is drained. So, as employers, we’ve got to monitor and set guidelines around using this technology.”


I found this really interesting because in Motivational Maps we talk about how motivation is “energy”. Our motivation towards a specific task can be measured, to some degree, by how energised we feel by it. Are we enthused or drained by the prospect of “collaborating”, for example? That might tell us something about the position of our Friend motivator. We might also be able to work out how motivated we are by a role or work-position by how energised we feel – do we feel lifeless, like a simple action costs us every watt of energy? Of course, this is not an exact approach, and the best way is to complete a Map, but we can suss out, to a certain degree, how “energised” we are in certain contexts and a little bit about our motivation levels overall. So, the fact that technology can be so draining for some individuals is interesting, because it suggests that there is a correlation between certain motivators and technological use.


Absolutely! From a customer experience standpoint, customers are starting to understand that they can interact in different ways. They can use technology to enable them to hit their motivators. For example, Estate Agents are now open, and they’re doing ‘virtual show-rounds’ of new homes – some pre-recorded, and some live. There are massive opportunities with the tech, as well as issues.”


I remembered that Richard did a talk at the Motivational Maps Conference 2018 around customer-experience. Customer-experience almost feels like a new field for the Maps. It’s been discussed previously that if we can understand what motivates people then we’ll understand better how to sell and market to those people – but it feels as if there is a lot further exploration yet to be undertaken.


It’s an interesting one. The great thing about Motivational Maps is it’s a very short questionnaire really, especially in comparison to its competitors.” I remarked that Myers Briggs is over one-hundred questions. “Yeah, with the Maps, it only takes twelve to fifteen minutes to complete!” Richard laughs. “That sounds like a sales pitch! But, the challenge is gathering that data but across a very large cohort of people, getting sight of those motivators without necessarily having to give each person a full report!


Actually, one thing that’s related to that, which is being driven by the situation we find ourselves in now, is discussions around ‘confidence’. Confidence is an interesting term and one that’s were investigating a little bit more. What drives some of these confidence levels? The thinking we’re going down is that there must be a motivator around that confidence. We know that the more motivated we are, the more confident we are, and the better we perform. So, linked to consumers, how confident are they in you and how motivated are they to buy your product?


Motivation is driving consumer’s behaviour. So, the example I always give is around supermarkets and price and product type or quality. That has been overtaken by ‘how easy is it for me to access’? The motivators of consumers have drastically changed. People no longer buy small bags of flour, they buy sacks of the stuff. It’s the environment we’re in that is driving these emotions. This is a massive opportunity from a Mapping community perspective, because of the intensity of the “peaks” and “troughs” - high motivation and low motivation. The Map profiles that we will see during this time will be completely different to ones we normally see!”


I remarked that, as a BP, he had the added responsibility of the LPs to consider.


I’ve got training-providers, one-man-bands. Some of them are very much closing down. The communication piece that we’ve been having with them has been affected quite a bit. You have to step up a little bit more to engage people in those conversations about motivation. It’s not something that businesses immediately think ‘we need to invest in’. However, I think it does highlight the effectiveness of the Maps in this environment. I’m having conversations with Practitioners around how you can work with your client around motivation when they’ve got their teams furloughed, or waiting to come back to work. I had an interesting conversation with a Practitioner the other day and they said they’re now beginning to see discrepancies between furloughed people and those who are back at work. There’s a bit of resentment and a drop in motivation in those people at work. And even if they like being around people and doing stuff, they’re looking around and seeing people who are getting 80 or even 100 percent of their salary for effectively doing nothing. So, actually, there’s not a better time to talk about motivation!”


For more information about Ricard Knight and Switch Performance, you can visit him at

You can also check out his LinkedIn profile here:

Interview with a BP #9 Kathryn Horton

People say, ‘I don’t like change’ but they have the latest mobile phone! We ask the question, ‘So what’s stopping them changing in this other context?’ Maps helps people to understand themselves in a different way.”


Becoming a Business Practitioner is a big step, but the rewards are also tremendous. We wanted to speak with our BPs and get a sense of what they felt the biggest challenges and rewards of being a BP were, as well as foreground the amazing work they do. This interview with Kathryn Horton is our ninth instalment, revealing the secrets of life as a BP and the incredible difference they make in the Maps community and beyond.

KH outside Offices 4

Kathryn Horton is CEO of TurningFactor, working to develop people and businesses by creating behavioural and organisational change. She is a Master NLP practitioner and trainer, psychotherapist, and Business Practitioner of Motivational Maps.



HR Searcher (2017_08_02 10_18_52 UTC)

It’s interesting that both myself and my business partner pretty much share the same Map! And we’ve always said that we get on so well because we’re motivated in a similar way. Before Motivational Maps we wouldn’t have been able to verbalise it like that, we would have just said we’re both driven, want to earn money, and we also like recognition from others.”


It’s interesting that Kathryn mentions verbalising these feelings, because later in the interview, she says that Maps helps her to, “Make the invisible, visible.” The unseen motivators are given a shape and name, so that they can be understood and discussed via a shared language.


HR Searcher (2017_08_02 10_18_52 UTC)
My motivations… I am Searcher. I’m also high Spirit. Builder. Star. Director. So they come up in my tops. As a high Star, what’s interesting with that is I will go out and ask for that recognition. And I find myself doing it. I am a high Builder, which is half the reason why I’m working this business. I want to make money, make profit. The Spirit-Director combination is also really interesting because I do like to control, I like to be in control, but of course with high Spirit I don’t like to be controlled. That also fits perfectly with how we operate the business. That’s why I came out of employment into business as well. I thought, I can do it on my own. I know exactly what I need to do. I’m going to go and do it.”


I’ve just been saying to someone that I will do my Map again before long because I haven’t done it in a few years. I don’t think it will have changed very much. My motivation will have gone up on some of them because the business has progressed but I don’t think my motivations have really changed. I’m low Friend, my Friend is a 3! I don’t need those relationships. I’m happy for the relationships to stay as they are. I go to work to work, not to be around people. But I’m very aware of that because we have had colleagues who are very high Friend, and I do get frustrated when they go off and make cakes and put up bunting, you know? How much time has that taken you? But I get it. Maps can really help, and certainly helped me, to understand that.”


An oft-overlooked aspect of Maps is that they are not just for clients, but also for practitioners themselves to gain a better understanding, whether it’s of their own motivations, their staff, or the networks they operate in. Maps empowers us with a shared language that is as much about helping the practitioner as the client.


Kathryn was introduced to Maps five years ago. “One of our clients talked about these Maps that they had done. He talked about his profile, which was interesting. A couple of months after that another one of our clients started talking about these Maps. We thought, Okay, let’s go and have a look at what these Maps are and who’s doing them. At that point we got in touch with Bevis (a Senior Practitioner of Motivational Maps). We met with him, and we went through my profile. It was quite a long meeting! And when I saw my profile I was kind of blown away by how accurate it was. That was a really big thing to look at this profile I’d completed and think, That’s absolutely smack on. And I think the bit we were really impressed with was the element of how the motivators were being met. So, yes, that might be what my motivations are, but how well are they being met is a deeper question. And that was a really, really interesting element of the Map. So, from this point on, we thought, Crickey, this is gold dust. Pretty much immediately I became a Licensed Practitioner. This is about 2016 now. My colleague also became a practitioner. We were putting out dozens and dozens of Maps. It took off really quickly. And in these early stages, it was us thinking: How accurate are these? Are we going to find a blip? But it just wasn’t happening. Over the last four years we’ve probably had a point-percent of somebody saying I’m not sure that’s me. Usually it is! It’s more a reflection on the individual than the Map, and trying to explain that to them is the next challenge. The accuracy is incredible. So we then saw an opportunity in other people who were really interested in the Maps, so we thought why don’t we become Business Practitioner? It fits our model. So we started going on the journey to becoming a BP, so we were then able to have our own Practitioners.


Kathryn’s profile really suits her role as CEO of TurningFactor, which is critical, because that is linked with what Maps Practitioners are often trying to achieve with their clients: helping them to find a career, a path, that motivates them. “I think that is the really good thing about Maps. I spent 17 years in the corporate world. I was in Sales. About 2000, I went on leave to have my children, and when I went back into the business, it’d changed and merged with another large organisation. My role changed, and I moved into Learning & Development. Even before I had gone off on long-term leave, I was involved with bits of training. Coming back, they asked me, rather than being in Sales do you want to be in the training of these Sales people? I jumped at the chance. That was pretty much twenty years ago. I got as far as I wanted to get. It was a great job, good prospects. But you know what? My job was too easy! I thought, I could do more than this. 2004 I decided: In twelve months’ time I’m handing my notice in, and I’m gone. I planned everything and left March 2005. The business has changed a lot over the years. TurningFactor came into its true form in about 2010. I knew I wanted to build my own company. We specialise in behavioural change, which is where the Maps really help. My colleague heads up the business-development side, and I head up the people-development side.”


I remarked that it was interesting how frank she had been about the business changing over time. A lot of people think that you come up with a concept for a business and then execute it, but that is rarely the case. “No! It’s not an easy journey for anyone. Not for the faint-hearted. If you haven't got certain skillsets, but more importantly if you haven’t got the motivation, you will find yourself very quickly going back into employment!” I asked if she had any advice for people wanting to become a BP: “Yeah, I think you need to be very well-versed and comfortable that you know the Maps. The training you do will eek that out, but you need to up your game on your knowledge to be able to help your practitioners. Don’t go too quickly from LP to BP because you need to be a bit of a master of your knowledge. Also, what’s your motivation to do that? It’s interesting my Motivational Map, I have high Director, so I do like control. It suits the role and I like that. You have to think about how you’re going to keep in touch with your practitioners.”




Often when we go into companies, managers will say: we need to get them to do this, and get them thinking about change more, and be more positive, and be more optimistic. All these things they come up with. Look at things from a different viewpoint. Not let things get on top of them! And all of these things, when we talk about up-skilling, are about changing behaviours. If you want to teach someone Sales skills, then they have to pick up the phone, communicate differently. They need to build rapport, build trust. You’re asking them to change the way they do things, change their behaviour. But of course that’s not easy. To be able to change behaviour, the way you do things, you’ve got to change the way you think. Well, now you’re in a minefield!”


A lot of people change their behaviours every day, but they don’t realise it. So we’re just going out to them and showing them what they naturally do and trying to bring it into their conscious awareness.”


For more information on the work Kathryn Horton and TurningFactor does, please check out:



5 Key Things to Remember About Motivation Part 5: Change


The intention of these articles is to provide you with five key aspects of motivation that will help you, and perhaps your team too, understand what motivating people is really all about. Each article will tackle a new aspect in five-part series.


In our last blog, we covered how motivation boosts teams and facilitates collaboration. In this article, we’ll be covering the fifth and final aspect of motivation: how it catalysts change.


Five, it’s change

As we have described in earlier articles, motivation is energy. It is the fuel that drives us. And like energy, it is constantly in motion, therefore alters and transforms as it encounters different obstacles and acts upon different objects or people in its path. Our motivational energy changes over time. Sometimes, not very much, a barely perceptible shift. But sometimes, dramatically and drastically. I have seen financial circumstances utterly transform the motivational profile of an individual and indeed an organisation. For example, a Searcher-driven organisation, which is all about meaning and purpose, suddenly realises that they will be out of business if they don’t make some serious changes, and everyone’s Builder motivator spikes into the top three! Money is now a priority, so the other motivators take a backseat. This might be a temporary change for some, until financial stability is acquired, but for others, it might be a long term life-lesson; think about the money first or suffer the consequences type of narrative.


Change management is still the order of the day. Though we dress it up in different terms, such as organisational adaptability or agility or flexibility, the reality is the same: we need to help people in organisations cope with change. And there is more change coming our way now than ever before with the potential of automation, new technologies, and shifting economies and industries. But how do we really know how people feel and how their motivators contribute to or block change? The answer, in short, is the Motivational Organisational Map! However, so as not to make this an entirely promotional blog, let’s unpack this in more detail!


All successful change has to address 3 key factors: the vision of where we are going, the resources necessary to propel us there, and finally, and crucially, a dissatisfaction with the status quo within the employees; in other words, this last critical point hangs on the perceptions and motivators of staff. There has to be a hunger there. How, therefore, can we change effectively without knowing what our staff really want? We can’t. If we want longevity and not endless crisis management we need this level of insight. Motivational Mapping can provide this. Here’s how:


Three of the motivators fall into what we call the “Growth” cluster. Motivators in this cluster are much more likely to be change friendly, so a profile predominated by these motivators is much more likely to indicate someone up for and willing to change in general. Similarly, we also have a “Relationship” cluster, and the three motivators in this cluster are the opposite: change averse. They like things to stay the same and the security of predictability in general. Remember, motivational profiles are far more complex and nuanced, and cannot simply be reduced to blanket statements, but there are tendencies and trends that one can pick up on. The final cluster, “Achievement” motivators, are pretty much change ambivalent. They neither oppose nor actively block it. They can be persuaded change is positive, if provided the right information, but they are happy for things to remain as they are as well.


Now, depending on the “makeup” of your organisation, you are going to likely have a lean one way or the other. If you have a team of managers that are all Growth motivator dominant, and they’re pushing for change, but all the people “on the ground” are Relationship motivators, this is going to be a problem, because the people on the front line don’t like change and will find it very challenging. They may even actively oppose and resistant measures for as long as humanly possible. If you try to overwhelm, to force change, they’ll likely leave.


Similarly, the converse can be disastrous. If all the people on the ground are passionate about change and transformation and want the company to be making steps forward, but management are all playing it safe, counting profits and not making the necessary alterations to empower staff (such as new software, for example, or new agile ways of working) that can create mass exodus. However, motivational profiles do not limit or stereotype people, they are a doorway to a wider conversation. Once we understand who is more likely to be change-friendly and who isn’t, we can then begin to open dialogues about how to make the changes easier, and perhaps even better: listen to our staff to discuss their priorities.


Change is never easy, whether you’re simply employing new technology in your organisation, or creating a whole new dimension to your business, such as a new product line or strategy. However, with the right tools, and plenty of motivation, you can overcome the challenges of change poses, and perhaps even thrive as a result.




Thank you for reading this blog series. We hope you found it insight and practically useful! 


Want to discover your motivators? You can also discover them yourself, or get close to it, by doing a few simple exercises. I have created a nine-part blog series Unlocking Motivation, to help take you through this process. It’s completely free, and will tell you a hell of a lot about the Maps and what they’re all about. To get started, you can go to part 1 here.

Alternatively, for a deeper dive into the language and metrics of motivation, as well as a Motivational Map code for a pin-point accurate motivational profile, you can buy Mapping Motivation: Unlocking The Key to Employee Energy and Engagement.