Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A motivational excursus ... I want to make a difference

I'm stepping away from my change management principles for a bit, to share an old, old secret from the motivational literature.

How many times have you felt like your work mattered?  To you? To your team?  To your organization?  To your family? 

It sounds like "I want to know I made a difference." 



Ever wonder where that phrase comes from?   In 1959, a researcher name White discovered what he called "Effectance Motivation", in short, the deep human desire to have an impact on our environments.

You see it across all human endeavors, ranging from little children in play who ask "see what I did?" to the achievements of massive global teams unleashing the latest Oracle Financials system on their organizations.  At the end of the day, we all want to know we mattered.  We want to know our lives were not a waste of time for ourselves, for our families, for our organizations.

So what does that mean to me as a leader Dr. Bohn?

  1. YOU can help people know they mattered!  Through effective recognition, through true awareness of their achievements, by displaying a clear understanding of their suffering along the way.
  2. You can help people literally go on one more day because they felt valued for what someone else acknowledged.
  3. YOU can turn to a low level person in your organization and simply say a very genuine "thank you." 

Want to have an effect?  Remember Effectance Motivation is part of every human nature.  Want to make a difference?  Help others know they made a difference. 












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