One of the most interesting questions we get asked in Motivational Maps is how is our product – the Map – different from psychometric tests and personality profiles? In fact, are they different at all? Is it all the ‘same’ (but with a different name)? The question is interesting not only in itself – forcing one to become very specific about one’s product – but interesting from a marketing point of view. Does one actually have a ‘unique selling proposition’, or are Maps a ‘me-too’ product?
My friend Steve Jones - www.skillsforbusinesstraining.co.uk/profile.htm - has an interesting take on this which I have often used. Basically, Steve says no-one gets up on a Monday morning to go to work because of the personality profile; however, they do go to work because of their motivations. And one could add – if they go to work without their motivations being satisfied, the result for the organisation is not going to be very comfortable.
My favourite analogy as to what Motivational Maps is like is Chinese medicine: people become ill, according to Chinese medicine, when their flow of energy, called Chi, is blocked. Chi flows primarily along 14 meridian lines – and acupuncture is one of the major practices used in Chinese medicine to ‘unblock’ the energy blockage. Motivation, too, flows through us – the Maps diagnose which of the ‘9’ channels is flowing, and which are not.
I was explaining this to a real high flying MD of a major management consultancy in London recently. This particular MD was highly creative and highly experienced in psychometrics – qualified I counted in at least 4 of them. As I went through my explanation, his eyes lit up and he said, Ah, States and Traits. We developed this further – but exactly!
Psychometrics, Strength-inventories and the like are basically telling us what our traits are – almost like what our character is. And character is a rock on which we sit. We need to know our self, understand our self, and be self aware. Transference of this – through the models – to other people can give us valuable insights, and enable us to modify our behaviours so that we can work more effectively together.
States, on the other hand, are constantly changing – think of emotions – we are angry, we are happy, we are giving and kind, and then may be moody and resentful. Motivational Maps ‘map’ this fluid energy state that is in flux. It is unlikely that two Maps for the same person are likely to be exactly the same even within a short time span. But the importance from the work place perspective is that Motivational Maps tell Directors just where the energy of the people and the teams is/are going, and just how positive or not that energy is. If the psychometrics are the Balance Sheets of human business, then Maps are the Cash Flow or the Profit and Loss!
So the question for you, as an organisational leader might be: do you currently need to know the type of people assets you are currently sitting on, or would you want to know how much energy you have and where that energy is going?