By Rick Grbavac, Cerebyte Inc., 2011 Conference Presenter

How often have you successfully energized your people to undertake a new direction only to have them quickly fall back to their old habits? Dan Pink in his book DRIVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us describes the latest research on motivation. His concept of Motivation 3.0, when combined with a sustaining methodology, provides a method to consistently grow positive new habits in organizations with a motivated workforce.

Conventional Thinking–Reward People: Get More. Punish: Get Less.
Pink’s research clearly shows that when people are working on tasks that are repetitive and require little thought, rewards improve performance, at least to a point. However, when dealing with people involved in tasks requiring high thought and analysis, rewards often lead to lower performance. Pink’s Motivation 3.0 describes the conditions necessary to motivate your knowledge workers. He defines three core elements of Motivation 3.0–purpose, mastery, and autonomy. We will show how to achieve Motivation 3.0 in your organization.

Motivation 3.0: Purpose, Mastery, and Autonomy
Your positive deviants (the people in your organization most respected for their knowledge and wisdom) have a different mental model of their jobs and a higher moral purpose. It is what gets them up in the morning and gives them the passion for their job. Imagine if everyone in your organization was able to possess the same passion for his or her job and the mission of the company! The problem is that we cannot just go to people and say, “Be more passionate!” Fair process and the latest research in the neuroscience of positive visualization and affirmation are the best methods we have found to encourage people to engage with the powerful positive deviant purpose and change their perceptions about their jobs.

Mastery. Once people have embraced the higher purpose, it is much easier to encourage understanding of what is necessary to build their skills and talents into mastery. Mastery does not happen all at once. It comes from practicing the things the positive deviants said to help to build skills over time. The key is to build those skills with the higher purpose as a foundation for understanding what it is and why it is important to them and the company.

Autonomy. When you have a group of passionate people who understand the higher purpose of their job and have the skills and wisdom to perform at high levels, it is time to get out of the way. Make sure the leadership of the company understands that a passionate, motivated team requires less fire fighting and more long-term perspective. They need to hold their teams accountable without getting in their way. They need to work with their teams, consistently growing skills and talents without solving their problems.

Attaining Motivation 3.0 requires a transformational change in the way workers think and how management leads. The latest science on how people change from one way of thinking to another shows how to make these changes quickly and predictably.

Rick is one of more than 100 presenters sharing his or her knowledge and expertise at THE Performance Improvement Conference 2011, April 10-13, in Orlando, Florida. If you would like to learn more, you may attend his 90-minute presentation, “Transformative Motivation for Extraordinary Performance Improvement.

Rick Grbavac photoAbout the Author
Rick Grbavac has worked with a wide variety of clients in the retail, financial, product development, IT project management, construction, manufacturing, and medical sectors since joining Cerebyte in 2002. He holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Oregon. Rick may be reached at