Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What motivates you?

Photo: Suat Eman http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=151

I recently read a blog (http://runningahospital.blogspot.com/2009/12/on-accountability.html) that stated that organizations should not try to hold people accountable. Instead they should encourage people to hold themselves accountable.

I agree and this is why I promote coaching employees to instill commitment -- committed employees are self-motivated.

The problem is, will 100% of people become self-motivated? Are there some individuals who must be held accountable because regardless of effort spent coaching they will not hold themselves accountable?

If yes, must we hold everyone accountable so that we capture those (few?) who cannot/ will not self-motivate?

If yes, will we reduce the self-motivation of those who either by their nature or through our coaching would have been committed, but because of the external oversight become in fact less committed? I believe the answer to this is yes. Just as studies show that people lose intrinsic desire to do something they used to enjoy when they get paid to do that thing, so will people lose their joy or self-efficacy from a job well done when that job is evaluated and graded.

Your thoughts? Solutions?

It's an age-old question on University campuses -- if we grade, students focus on grades rather than on learning. If we don't grade something, many students don't do it or don't do it thoroughly. Just too busy to be self-motivated in so many spheres of life?

What's the accountability for parenting? What gets people to take the enormous time and energy to teach their children rather than punish all expressions of will? Are we going to get a grade? If so, when will be evaluated? When the child is 20? 30? 50? I hope I get until 50!

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