Coach Vickie Bevenour, PCC 

August 2013

This Newsletter

... is a quick tip ezine for Managers who believe in "Results Derived from Within"

Written by: Vickie Bevenour, a Professional Certified Coach, PCC


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Coach Vickie Bevenour
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The RDW Group, Inc.
114 Partheni Court
Cary , NC 27519

August 2013: Human Motivation Part Three 


In last month's newsletter we discussed Daniel Pink's first two factors of human motivation. This month I would like to continue the discussion of human motivation. What are the best driving factors of human motivation? Since human behavior is driven by motivation...unlocking the "drivers" of motivation could help all global leaders to unlock the key to guiding behaviors thru key motivational factors.


Daniel Pink suggests that the three motivational factors are: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. In past two newsletters we have covered Autonomy and Mastery (if you would like a refresher, previous newsletters can be found on www.CoachVickie.com). In this issue let's introduce the concept of Purpose.


Humans by their nature seek purpose, defined as making a contribution and being part of a cause greater and more enduring than themselves. In traditional business this idea of purpose was considered as something extra or ornamental. The profit motive was always thought to be the "real" purpose of business.


This concept is shifting and baby boomers have had an influence on this shift. In 2006 the first of the baby boomers turned 60. Research has shown that this milestone birthday has caused much reflection within the boomer community and is causing a huge shift in their thinking. As with any birthday that ends in "0", especially a 60th birthday the boomers are asking themselves the following question:
How did I get here?
That is typically followed by the statistical knowledge that at 60 they can expect to live on the average another 25 years. That then prompts the thought of what they accomplished in the LAST 25 years, since they were 35 and they realize that in the near future they want to make more of an impact. In America, one hundred boomers turn sixty every thirteen minutes, until 2024. Baby boomers are looking to be a part of an organization where they can make a difference. Couple that with younger workers who have always had the idea of working in an organization that had profit and purpose maximization as duel goals and purpose becomes an important goal of many workers.


In today's world purpose maximization is taking its place alongside profit maximization as an aspiration and a guiding principle. This new purpose motivation is expressing itself within organizations in three ways:

  • In goals that use profit to reach purpose
  • In words that emphasize more than self-interest
  • In policies that allow people to pursue purpose on their own terms.

Guiding Principle One: Goals


So here we have two generations, the baby boomers and the Gen Y folks who are currently entering the work force. Both groups describe their goals as not so much about money but as being part of creative teams or organizations who give back through their work. An example of this is the Gen Y founder of TOM's shoes Blake Myscokie. TOM's business model is that for every pair of shoes that are bought a pair of shoes will be donated. This model is so new that it actually caused confusion, which prompted the company to post a clarification on their company's web site right below the instructions on how to exchange a purchase. It states that TOM's is "a for profit company with giving at its core". TOM's is a perfect example of the shift in business model where purpose orientation is coming to the forefront. Even co-operatives which have been around for years are moving to front and center as a likely business model for the future.


Guiding Principle Two: Words


In 2009 the Global economy took some "hits" from unscrupulous behavior by individuals who were driven by profit. This prompted a handful of second year Harvard MBA's to think about what they wanted their future to look like. As MBA students are trained to do, they made a plan. Together they crafted "The MBA Oath" which is not a legal document; it is a code of conduct. Below are three sentences from the over 500 word document:


As a manager, my purpose is to serve the greater good by bringing people and resources together to create value that no single individual can create alone.....I will safeguard the interests of my shareholders, co-workers, customers and the society in which we operate...I will strive to create sustainability economic, social and environmental prosperity worldwide"


Words like purpose, greater good and sustainability are not your "normal" business mission words and reflect the conduct in which these business school students will endeavor to live their lives. Today more than 300 business educational institutions have embraced the MBA Oath.


In traditional business models, the "how" is stressed, as in how will we accomplish the goal? In the new economy of motivating employees through purpose the "how" question is replaced by the "why" question. The thought then becomes... here is why we are doing this. By understanding the why, the context, the reason for excelling at a goal, the goal becomes much more compelling.


Guiding Principle Three: Policies


There are many studies that show the correlation for employees between money and happiness is weak. This means that past a certain amount, a larger pile of cash does not bring any more satisfaction. Scientists have taken this to a newer level and have realized that how people spend their money can be at least as important as how much money they earn. If you buy gifts for others (rather than buy a bauble for yourself), or donate to causes that you believe in (rather than get an expensive haircut) this can increase your subjective well-being. And so, those organizations that involve employees in purpose laden activities, will improve employee happiness/satisfaction. Examples of purposeful activities could be: giving time off for volunteer activities, enabling corporate foundations to give money to employees pet charities first or enabling employees to be part of special project teams to contribute to functions that they believe in.


There was a study in a hospital that was trying to increase hand washing. The hospital introduced three difference hand washing campaigns. The first told the benefits to the employee if they washed their hands, the second touted the benefits to the patients when healthcare employees washed their hands and the third was a cute saying like "wash it, do it". Which campaign do you think yield the most results? Of course it was the campaign that connected the activity with the purpose. By washing your hands you are increasing the likelihood that your patients will get better faster, decrease infections and go home better able to heal. That small connection increased results.


In conclusion, when your organization is thinking about instituting a new GOAL or POLICY, connecting these with the appropriate WORDS and with a larger societal purpose will increase adherence to the policy and improve results. Congratulations, by instituting these changes in your organization you will improve employees' motivation and your organization will derive results from within.

Yours very truly,



Coach Vickie Bevenour


*To review any of these past newsletters, please visit the Newsletter section of www.CoachVickie.com


Professional Certified Coach and a member of the International Coach Federation




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Copyright 2013  The RDW Group, Inc.

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