Moving motivators 3.0 — what motivates my team mates?

I love using games and inter­ac­tive activ­i­ties when I share Agile and Scrum with peo­ple. It allows me to explain con­cepts in a much more direct, fun and pow­er­ful way than any the­o­ry ses­sion will do.

Dur­ing the last ret­ro­spec­tive meet­ing, we’ve used the oppor­tu­ni­ty to engage our­selves in an activ­i­ty that will allow us to get to know one with each oth­er bet­ter by find­ing out what real­ly moti­vates us. Even if we share an open team cul­ture and we know each oth­er quite well, we nev­er talk about our intrin­sic moti­va­tors inside the team. So I expect­ed to get some new insights into that blind spot.

Trig­ger for this was on one side the sci­ence behind intrin­sic and extrin­sic moti­va­tion pro­vid­ed, on the oth­er side it was the facil­i­ta­tion tech­nique intro­duced by Jur­gen Appe­lo in his book, Man­age­ment 3.0 Workout.

Daniel Pink tells us in this video that sci­ence has proven that extrin­sic moti­va­tors don’t work for knowl­edge work­ers, which is a fact that has been ignored by most orga­ni­za­tions for the last decades. The “Mov­ing Moti­va­tors” game is a great tool to reveal what real­ly moti­vates us to do our jobs.

The set­up is quite sim­ple, this is what I did to pre­pare myself for the event:

  1. Print the Mov­ing Moti­va­tor cards or sim­ply buy them.
  2. Lam­i­nate the cards: The print­ed cards look great but lam­i­nat­ing them makes them awe­some It also pro­tects the cards, makes them reusable, gives them a pro­fes­sion­al look and a nice touch. Your team will love them!
  3. Cut the cards and pre­pare the card decks for hand­ing them out to your team. Make sure each team mem­ber receives a set
  4. Entire event should take no longer than 1h:30 for a group up to 7 peo­ple. In case you have a big­ger group, split it in small­er ones.

The Mov­ing Moti­va­tors facil­i­ta­tion exer­cise is based on the Champfrogs mod­el of the ten intrin­sic desires. Although, I find val­ue in the orig­i­nal intent of the exer­cise, I’ve mod­i­fied it and did not focus on eval­u­at­ing the results at team lev­el and the cre­ation of dia­grams based on them. The focus was more on the dis­cus­sion behind, on the peo­ple hav­ing the trust to open up and even show vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty when telling their stories.

Our agen­da includ­ed the following:

  • Intro­duc­tion: a short overview on the 10 moti­va­tors and the pur­pose of the exer­cise. Plan around 15min for this activity
  • Round one:  How impor­tant are the 10 moti­va­tors for you? Think about the ques­tion and put the moti­va­tors in your indi­vid­ual order. We’ve start­ed with the most impor­tant ones and end­ed with the one that are not that important.
  • Round one: team sync activ­i­ty. Every team mem­ber explains in front of the team the 3 most impor­tant indi­vid­ual moti­va­tors and why the last 3 were placed at the bot­tom. Make it a team activ­i­ty with some ener­gy in there. Let all oth­er team mem­bers “vis­it” the explain­ing one. This shows inter­est and avoids sit­ting meet­ings. In addi­tion it helps the team to under­stand and learn about each other.
  • Round two: How do these moti­va­tors reflect in your dai­ly activ­i­ty? If the change is pos­i­tive then ask the team mem­ber to move the card upwards or if the change is neg­a­tive then move the card down­wards. When the change had no effect on the moti­va­tor then card can remain in the middle
  • Round two: Dis­cuss the results in the team, the same you did in round 1
  • Once you fin­ished both rounds, talk open about learn­ings: What did you observed? What was inter­est­ing? What was surprising?
  • I set up also a hap­pi­ness door to encour­age my col­leagues to give me feed­back at the end of the event. It was the first time I have facil­i­tat­ed it, so every feed­back was more than welcome.

My learn­ings and take aways from this session:

  • Next time I won’t spend too much time explain­ing the 10 moti­va­tors. I got the feed­back that at some point the detailed pre­sen­ta­tion of the moti­va­tors turned out to be bor­ing and par­tic­i­pants lost focus
  • It was a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to build trust by open­ing up and share infor­ma­tion with the team
  • The exer­cise helps to set a foun­da­tion for hav­ing qual­i­ty dis­cus­sions about what is impor­tant to each per­son. It helps demon­strate peo­ple can be dif­fer­ent and they can talk about it in a healthy way.
  • My per­son­al feel­ing: I’ve seen a lot of smiles on peo­ple’s faces, the atmos­phere in the room was very pos­i­tive and opti­mistic, which made the peo­ple feel com­fort­able to share.

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