Find out What Motivates You and Improve Your Life

Use the Moving Motivators as a Compass

Photo by garrett parker on Unsplash

Different values guide us in our actions. For one person, freedom is fundamental for another order has more importance. Sometimes you don’t even know what is essential to you. You maybe feel only a diffuse dissatisfaction and do not know where to start. A reflection about motivators and their characteristics can help to gain more clarity and bring about the right changes.

Moving Motivators

Jurgen Appelo (Management 3.0) has developed the Moving Motivators. This method can help you to get an idea of what is motivating you and your teammates.
You can use the Moving Motivators both on your own and in a team.
They help you to think, to understand yourself and others better, and to recognize areas for improvement.

The basis for Moving Motivators are the following ten intrinsic motivators:

  • Curiosity: I love to experiment and try something new.
  • Honor: My values are represented in the team. This supports my loyalty.
  • Acceptance: I am, and what I do is accepted by the team.
  • Mastery: My work is challenging, promotes my skills but feasible.
  • Power: I can influence the outcome and my environment.
  • Freedom: I am independent and can decide how I do my work
  • Relatedness: I have good relations with my colleagues
  • Order: There are rules to ensure a stable working environment and safety.
  • Goal: My work matches my goals.
  • Status: I have a good position, and my colleagues recognize me.

Working with the Moving Motivators in 4 steps

Step 1: What is the meaning of the motivators?

Download the Moving Motivator cards and cut them out. If you are doing the exercise with a team, make sure that everyone gets a set of cards.
Familiarize yourself with the motivators. There is a short explanation on each card.

Moving Motivators by Jurgen Appelo (Management 3.0)

Step 2: How important are the motivators to me?

Now ask yourself how important the ten motivators are to you and put them in exact order. If you do the exercise as a team, everyone should give a short overview of their order afterward.
Don’t forget to write down the order. You can do this either with a number (from 1 to 10) on the cards or on a separate paper.

Example for step 2

Step 3: Do I live my values?

In this step, you reflect on the expression of the motivators in your current situation.
Assign the motivators to characteristics 1 (not at all) to 8 (very strong). Let us take “freedom” as an example: How independent from others can you perform your work, and what responsibilities do you have? If you think that you are entirely independent, you will rate this motivator with 8.

Don’t forget to write down the values. You can do this either with numbers (from 1 to 8) on the cards (in a different color than the order) or on a separate paper.

If you do the exercise in a team, everyone should give a short overview, focusing on motivators with significant differences in importance and actual significance. If there are more than seven people in the team, divide the team into two groups.

Example for step 3

Step 4: Graphical evaluation and documentation

Enter the data in a spreadsheet. If you evaluate a team, add up all values for each motivator and divide them by the number of team members. With a bar chart, you can easily see the differences between importance and expression.

Example for step 4

Additional tips if you do the exercise with a team

I have already done the exercise several times with teams and had the following learnings:

  • Prepare examples for each motivator. Especially for “goal” and “honor”, we had some discussions about the meaning.
  • For some people, it is new to think about their motivation. Therefore enough time for reflection is necessary.
  • If you do this exercise plan at least 90 minutes for the session.
  • Decide before the start of the session how you want to carry out the evaluation — then you can prepare yourself accordingly.
  • Structure the workshop with an agenda, prepare flip-charts with the questions and the motivator levels, evaluation sheets, and use time boxes.

We had interesting discussions about the motivators’ order and noticed that some team members had completely different demands. The debate about the motivators helped a lot to understand the colleagues better.
It is a great way to get deeper insights. The teams had fun during the exercise, and everyone was able to contribute.

I write on Self Improvement 🌱, Productivity 🎯, and Agile Product Development 🏄. My goal is to provide Inspiration.💡

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