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A few questions about Motivation

By sealenterprises, Jun 29 2015 02:29PM

Countless books, articles, publications and studies have been done on the subject of ‘Motivation’ over the past century. In particular, the last twenty years have seen a battery of philosophical, psychological and scientific motivation theories floated to an increasingly hungry, managerial and leadership market. These new ideas are promoted by their authors, the self-titled, motivational specialists, gurus, inspirational speakers, life coaches, life scientists, personal career designers and career growth specialists at an almost industrial pace. Stellar approaches and regimes, which as they describe, came to them in some epiphany or attenuated study, profess to provide the answer to the ever intriguing, ‘motivation puzzle’.

This plethora of nouveau motivational architects, promote ideas and models that centre on some styled intervention, that, when adopted will inspire you or your staff to work at ever greater speeds, achieving ever higher levels of productivity, in ever shorter quantities or time. Here’s the great bit: all of this will be achieved with ever-higher levels of enjoyment and personal satisfaction.

It feels like the whole subject of ‘motivation’ has been hijacked and turned into a highly lucrative socio-industrial play. With its plots and counter plots managers, leaders, business folk sup from this on-going mythical teat of ‘motivational deliverance’. They are all looking for the latest ground-breaking new concept, perhaps in some strange belief that they will gain some biblical-like technique to infuse motivation into everyone they manage, or, equally as delusional, to glean some competitive edge and therefore career advantage over their immediate rivals, their colleagues!

Not a week goes by, it seems, when another book or written publication does the rounds, each one carefully and cleverly marketed, with its accompanying trendy, sound-biting author, their TED style presenting sales pitch and of course, the ubiquitous accompanying acronym or locution, that unveils some inspirational word or phrase that we can all deploy, whenever things are not going according to plan!

There is nothing wrong with any of these publications or the methods, models or theories that they intend to deliver. Many find them an important source of inspiration, a datum, guide or reference to address lack of motivation in themselves or a general de-motivation in the work place.

However, there is a conundrum here that is somewhat confusing and has similarities to the food and drink industry. Never before has there been such an abundance of cooking and eating information. We are bombarded from every conceivable media angle with cookery programmes and literature. In addition, never before have we had so much choice, from grocery outlets supplying us with our every desire and whim almost 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Why then, is the nation’s ability to cook healthy, nutritional and tasty meals at such low levels? Similarly, never before has there been so much published material on the subject of ‘motivation’, yet equally, never has motivation in society and the work place been at such historically low levels.

We live, work and play, in an increasingly high speed, technical world. Motivational theories and practices that were conceived and adopted stretching back over the last one hundred years, perhaps, just might need a serious overhaul. The origins of many of these theories and templates on human motivation can be traced back to the rapid, industrial and technological expansion of the 20th century. They served as vital and fundamental elements in the pillars that supported the mass production and computerisation of the 20th century. However, man’s enduring quest to push back the frontiers of his world, to search and seek out the myriad of answers to his never ending questions, will surely require a different approach going forward.

The realisation that this is no longer a highly industrial, hands-on world, but an increasingly high-speed, low drag, incredibly efficient robotic world is long overdue. We exist in an inter-reliant and interdependent global network, which is constantly changing and morphing quicker than ever before. The laws and templates of human motivation that have been interpreted, re-interpreted and re arranged over and over again perhaps, are due a complete transformation, to serve and cater for the new emerging societies that inhabit this new emerging era!

Look out for Part 2 on Wednesday!

Jul 21 2015 12:20PM by Peter Couzens

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