Do you think about how best to motivate individuals on your project teams? We recommend that you don’t. Instead we recommend you think about what general conditions would help most professional performers consistently create high levels of value. Dan Pink, in his book “Drive” does a nice job of formulating motivation research into what these general conditions might be (in short, autonomy, purpose and mastery). But he stops short of prescribing step by step, how to set these conditions up. slot casino us players
So when Timm was recently asked to contribute to a special issue of Performance Improvement Journal
on motivation, he decided to take on this challenge. The result is his upcoming article “Motivation 3.0: A User’s guide.”
It was very interesting to peruse through some of the more recent literature on what motivates human beings. Researchers have only recently gotten beyond the behavior of isolated individuals performing one or a few specific tasks and delved into the motivational dynamics of groups in collaborative environments. There are still multiple motivation frameworks competing for mindshare. In looking at the research it became clear that Pink had left one of the more popular frameworks – goal setting theory – out of his formulation. This is puzzling because this particular framework, while having some self-conflicting components, probably includes the most documented examples of real world performance improvement.
Given our bias towards commitment-based management, we believe the motivation literature is also missing our approach to defining and measuring commitment. Like motivation, one of the challenges of studying commitment is the inherent difficulty in measuring it. As a result the literature contains many different approaches and operational definitions, most of them quite subjective (e.g. self-reported). We think the notion of counting personal commitments made and met (as measured in our Performance Against Commitment or PAC Chart) is an objective and very powerful definition and measurement that is missing from the discussion in the literature base. If there are researchers out there interesting in collaboration on addressing this, please let us know. wheel of fortune casino game online
Example Performance Against Commitment (PAC) Chart, from “No Surprises Project Management,” ACT publishing, 1999. © Timm J. Esque. video slots
The PAC chart shows teams at a glance the extent to which they have done what they said they would. Having helped to implement these charts from numerous teams in a large variety of organizations, we have concluded that the PAC chart tells us not only about past performance but also future performance (use this as side bar). Teams that do what they say they will for many weeks running, are very likely to continue that record into the future, not because they are good at predicting the future, but because they have taken responsibility for doing what they said, and they find ways to meet the commitments they’ve made. Creativity also plays a role. When a person takes responsibility for an outcome versus a task, she is both motivated and free to look at all the alternatives for successfully meeting her commitment, including requests for help while there is still time to meet the commitment.
We believe managing commitments deliberately and effectively is part of mastering motivation 3.0. Again, Timm’s step by step recommendations should be published later this fall (publication date not yet available) in Performance Improvement Journal.