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December 2009

November 2009

THE JOYOUS PAST

I am not a particularly sentimental person: when I heard about Friends Re-United I was unmoved, and I am not especially keen on Facebook, although I have found myself reconnecting there with some great people from my past. What surprises me is some of them seeking me out!

What staggers me, though, is what has happened via my old friend, LinkedIn! It does require you to complete your profile, and you don’t really feel complete till you do. That took me nearly two years, but once I had done it, things accelerated in a weird way.

I completed the universities and colleges I had been to, and then for completeness I thought – why not? – I entered my old school, The Harvey Grammar School, Folkestone. I was there for long enough – seven years –but I have never been back. One’s memories too are mixed – some good things and some not so good.

Once I had triggered the association, however, I discovered a Group of Harveians on Linkedin, which I promptly joined. Before I knew where I was, I was happily chatting to the Moderator of the Group, and then linking to other members, and even discovering people I was in class with way back then.

I find myself very satisfied with this. In fact so satisfied that I have joined the non-Web based Old Harveian Association, and now intend to go down to their Annual Dinner on the 5th December – and may be will meet ex-class mates, ex-teachers, and less likely but ex-enemies from all those years ago (the Sixties, for those wondering!). Hopefully ‘enemies’ can easily become friends after the distance we have travelled.

The point, I guess, is that it is easy in our atomised society to be always moving on, to discount the past that has served its purpose. But I increasingly realise that part of our mission is to make sense of our lives and part of that is to return to the child-like (not childish) and open state we had at the beginning.

Thus, relaxing into the past could be very motivating – where (for some) there is no trauma too great or unbearable - and a joyous and re-invigorating experience. It invites one to think: how this all contributed to the puzzle that is our life now. And forty years on (nearly for me) that is challenging – five or even ten years after I left, what the school had done seemed obvious. Now?

If anyone reading this is from the Harvey Grammar, or knows anyone, then please get them to contact Mark Harrison - https://uk.linkedin.com/in/endlessleisure - who is doing a great job drumming up support on Linkedin. And the LinkedIn link is: https://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=105051&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr.

Look forward to more connecting in due course! And, see some of you on the 5th December!

James

 


DAN PINK AND MOTIVATION

My friend, Pascoe Sawyers, www.mylifeismybusiness.co.uk (check out his website – he has a great book out and there is a video clip of him live) sent me recently a link to Dan Pink’s talk at Oxford on motivation: www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html

In eighteen minutes Dan puts in a tremendous performance, and covers a lot of ground. The essence of his argument is one that we here at Motivational Maps passionately agree with: business does not deploy the real science of motivation when dealing with staff; business (including non-business organisations) tends to use a limited carrot and stick approach that only works in a narrow set of circumstances. Put even more forcefully, Dan argues that the ‘If  …[you do this] … Then … [you get that]’ model destroys creativity. In fact, ‘If… then’ only works when dealing with simple and simplistic types of activities - certainly not anything requiring innovation and creativity. And the point he goes on to make is: we in the West need to be creative if we are going to compete with the East.

Dan cites a lot of scientific evidence for his assertions and these are pretty compelling. But perhaps his most telling point comes at the end: he asks us to compare and contrast two products – Encarta and Wikipedia. If you were to ask in the late 90s which one would come to dominate the market – the one product with all of Microsoft’s R&D behind it, and a whole lot of highly paid managers and professionals, and marketing experts versus a self-help product produced by amateurs and ‘nerds’, who would you bet on?

The counter-intuitive fact is: Wikipedia won, and an essential part of this winning is down to motivation – they were/are a highly motivated team of people bent on a mission, versus a bunch of professionals doing a job, earning a living, expecting a pay cheque. Big sub-text: big pay cheques don’t work. And isn’t this so timely a point with all the banking stuff going around? The whole rationale of why they are being paid so much money is entirely false.

Dan goes on to say that that the money motivators – extrinsic motivators – are weak compared with what he calls the intrinsic motivators. He identifies three core intrinsic motivators: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

At Motivational Maps we are gratified that there are three – our system is built on nine motivators in three blocks of three! And we have a special language for Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose: we call them the Spirit, the Expert and the Searcher.

For those people who want the latest ‘science’ on motivation – what really motivates people, and who want a language and a metric so that we don’t get into the touchy-feely, impressionistic clap-trap, then Motivational Maps really are the solution – and if you don’t believe me, at least take a look at Dan Pink’s video – it’s inspiring!

James