The Motivation Trap
by Andrew Cooke, Growth & Profit Solutions
Why motivation alone is not enough, you need more…
Imagine what would happen if your favorite football team took the field and the ONLY training they received in the last 8 months had been sitting in a room. Within the room, they’d be listening to legends of the game motivate them on what it takes to win and being shown presentations of what past champions have done by way of plays / strategies?
No practice drills, No fitness sessions, No practice games, No one-to-one coaching, No individual goals being set, No reviews of previous games and No new techniques.
Impossible task to win isn’t it. Logically it just doesn’t make sense to receive valuable motivation to change without then putting it in the right context and following it up with the hard work required to put strategies and actions in place to achieve the desired outcome.
However this is what countless businesses, teams and individuals do each day when it comes to their professional development and approach to change at present. And then they wonder why they are not getting the success they are looking for, and they continue in the same way yet expecting a different result. As Einstein described it, “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results”.
To understand why this occurs in professional development you need to look at human behavior.
At the end of the day it is much easier when it comes to professional development to be entertained by a motivational speaker (with many sitting at the back of the room responding to emails and chatting on social media these days!) than sitting down and slogging away developing clever strategies/actions in order to adapt your business. While there are terrific benefits for your professional development by listening to great speakers who provide the motivation to change and thought leadership to be innovative; the problem arises when the balance is 80% motivation and 20% strategy/action.
Many business advisors when providing advice to clients give in to this dynamic and only provide their clients what they ‘want’ – the quick fixes and magic bullet solutions. However clients need to be challenged as to what they really ‘need’ to achieve their desired objectives, and a good business advisors will do this and challenge their client to ensure the thinking is robust, objective and underlying the real needs of the client. As such the business advisor provides a balanced package where they become part consultant, part facilitator, part psychologist and part motivator as they customize their approach to deliver the outcomes their client desires.
The statistics are well known that 70% of change initiatives fail. There are countless business models on change and a myriad of great books about change such as Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. Each model, book or guru essentially brings achieving successful change back to three core factors being:
- The right motivation / desire to do something different
- The clarity to your vision / direction in order to head down the right path
- The robustness to your strategies / actions to ensure your team can implement effectively while in the right environment for change.
At GPS we state that if you scored yourself out of 10 for each of these three factors (where 1 is very low and 10 is very high), multiplied them together and then looked at it as a percentage you need a score of at least 64% (so 640 out of 1000) to successfully make the change occur. We call this your ‘change potential’.
Reflecting back to our football analogy, imagine in that example your team scored a 10 for motivation, a 2 for vision and a 1 for strategy. Their score would be 20 out of 1000 or 2% change potential. Nothing would change.
Having balance in professional development across all three areas is critical for success. Motivation alone while easiest to obtain, won’t get you far.
What has worked or not worked for you? Share your knowledge, share the wealth!