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Motivation and Execution

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Whether your concern is with immediate results or the future of work, people are the central issue distinguishing an organization from a factory. The question that must be asked more and more is "why do people achieve?"

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Motivation and Execution

  1. 1. Motivation & Execution Three Key Personae
  2. 2. An emerging correlation Comparing individual efforts across sports, work and learning is usually meaningful only as implied by the track record of results. We generally have no expectation that high achievement in one of them is a predictor of high achievement in the others. But this is why we celebrate the occasions when one individual excels in multiple ways, and we start looking for personal characteristics that might be the driver “in common” to them. We want to know if the type of person is the key to success in achievement, and we’re happy to call that type “talent”. Yet that makes less sense than does the idea of a given individual finding success by differing means in respectively different areas. High-achievement is often attributed to “aptitude”, “will power”, or “mastery” and we do not often debate whether more than one of these is necessary to separate from the pack and get out front in some given effort. But if challenged to be critical, we generally look at whether circumstances appeared to allow one of them, more likely than others, to be the decisive success factor. Meanwhile, we also have the habit of attributing achievement to things like “inspiration” and “determination”. In the overall scheme of things, that’s how we often account for the person’s choosing to use their key attributes in the real time of circumstances. Coaches, trainers and teachers are supposed to be able to tap into the individual’s likelihood to make that choice. Seen as “motivation”, it is a discovery that we expect these “achievement developers” to make regardless of circumstances, and then, as necessary, amplify it, replace it, or create it for the circumstances.
  3. 3. Basic Personae Engineering the connection between motivation, talent, and circumstance is not a difficult strategy to accept when we see it as connecting the Why, the How, and the When/Where. Described that way it seems obvious as a set of factors that need to correlate highly to raise the prospect of ultimately gaining success. But if that is the plan, it is important to understand why we expect it to work. From a history of observations, we might conclude that “failures” stem from one or more factors being deficient, and/or the connections between them having been deficiently organized. Along with that, we might conclude that “successes” stem from certain levels and types of factors and connections being established. In other words, we might approach it as “modeling” prerequisites of achievement. Extensive comparison of effort across multiple domains does yield some recurring imagery of the important factors, including their relationships. This emerging picture, pulled empirically from real experience, is retrospective but therefore is more diagnostic than predictive. Its key message is that there are three major personal dispositions to test. Represented as “persona”, they are the Instinctive, the Creative and the Effective.
  4. 4. Identifying each persona’s orientation The Instinctive persona is not pulled forward by a projected ultimate outcome but instead is highly sensitive to the action applicable within the complexity of the moment. Spread over time through a series of moments, it is navigational but does not presume to have responsibility for what demands the action in the moment. The most prominent personal “driver” is seeing the action prevail, essentially a pronounced self-expression. We characterize the key influence on its related behavior primarily as ambition. The Creative persona is more sensitive to an eventual outcome but as a rule takes responsibility for setting the terms and demands under which action must respond. The sensitivity is mostly to the way the circumstances can be manipulated into something desired. The “driver” is exposing or providing the way to reach a final result. The key influence on this behavior is giving it opportunity. The Effective persona is most sensitive to the ultimate outcome, and relative to that the detailed issues of how to get there are all negotiable but then enforced. The higher emphasis on follow-through is also less selective about what outcome is the subject, but responsibility for the target outcome is the individual’s offer and is influenced primarily through reward.
  5. 5. Activity is not achievement In each of the cases above, the individual actor does something notable that gives value (meaning) to their self-identity. The personae are not mutually exclusive, and the individual may, in given circumstances, exercise one or more of them, simultaneously or variously during the occasion, as felt necessary. The modeling shows that the personae are already related as the individual’s personal action, vision and mission in self-realization. In the model, it is explicitly suggested that dis- satisfactions and failures are attributable to deficient connections of the three aspects. We associate ambition, opportunity and reward with the personae as primary but relative differentiators in motivation. Likewise, in the span of achievement dis-satisfactions and failures, we find that Instinctives confront “incompetence”; Creatives confront being “stymied”; and Effectives confront being “undervalued”. We readily recognize that these issues are de-motivators. With that in mind, the relationship between motivation and execution is an arena that is addressed by cultivating a balance of why something is done the way it is, and how the result of that is – or can be – important to the actor’s sense of self.
  6. 6. CREATIVE INSTINCTIVE EFFECTIVEMotivation and Execution Multiple personae are already related as the individual’s personal action, vision and mission in self- realization. Dis-satisfactions and failures in achievement are attributable to deficient connections or strengths of the three aspects. Ambition, opportunity, and reward are three major motivational levers and connectors of the personae. ©2019 Malcolm Ryder / Archestra Research
  7. 7. Archestra notebooks compile and organize decades of in-the-field and ongoing empirical findings. All presented findings are derived exclusively from original research. Archestra notebooks carry no prescriptive warranty. As ongoing research, all notebooks are subject to change at any time. ©2019 Malcolm Ryder / Archestra Research www.archestra.com mryder@archestra.com Archestra research is done from the perspective of strategy and architecture. With all subject matter and topics, the purpose of the notes is analytic, primarily to: * explore, expose and model why things are included, excluded, or can happen in given ways and/or to certain effects. * comment on, and navigate between, motives and potentials that predetermine decisions about, and shapings of, the observed activity.

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