The more we try to force motivation the less success we have.
As the father of four (now adult) children, I look back at my attempts to "encourage" my son to show an interest in Coventry City FC and my abject failure. I can now see on so many levels that this was wrong. Yet one of my daughters will happily watch "Match of the Day" with me.
Help your team flourish
In his groundbreaking book Drive, Daniel Pink gives a great example of success and failure to help us start to rethink motivation. He highlights the mighty Microsoft's multi-million dollar project Encarta; the development of a state of the art worldwide encyclopedia. Do any of you still have the CD's in the loft still??? He compares this to a volunteer led and run network which has become the worlds most referenced encyclopedia - Wikipedia.
Which resource ended up more successful?
Mr Pink asks what can we learn from this in our workplace. He suggests that, despite all the cynicism around work, most of us are looking for opportunities to enjoy it, gain satisfaction and produce results. He suggests that the conditions in which this is most likely to flourish are;
Do you as managers create an environment that supports these conditions?
Let them be creative
There is a clear opportunity to reinvent this and give your teams the chance to be creative. Let them exploit their natural talents and come up with their own versions of Wikipedia. Better this than you spending time and money channelling resources into the old fashioned Encartas of your workplace!
If any of this strikes a cord I implore you to read Drive by Daniel Pink and understand the surprising truth about what motivates us.