Intrinsic Motivation – Plus BOSS backwards

Motivation – we make the concept so complicated, with detailed theories about positive reinforcement and various schedules of reward delivery (Variable Ratio delivery generates the highest response rate while Differential Reinforcement of Low Rate (DRL) schedules generates predictable low rate behavior), negative reinforcement (removal of negative stimuli), Punishment, Cognitive Dissonance, Maslow’s Hierarchy, and many dozens of other frameworks for managing and controlling behavior. Most are extrinsic in nature.

Then there are all the cognitive and intrinsic models of motivation, many anchored in things like values and trust, enneagrams, personality profiles and that sort of gobbledegook.

You can get a Ph.D. in that behavioral-psychology stuff (I have one) and anchor all that down with a whole lot of learning about neurophysiology and brain control mechanisms (I did that, too!) and what do you have?

I think you have a common situation that doesn’t need much explanation and that really looks like this in most workplaces every day:

Square Wheels: Hey Boss Got a Second LEGO bad

People are always trying out new ideas – that is simply our nature as human beings, a behavioral tendency that has served the species pretty well for a few million years.

But we do things backwards so much of the time — and Motivation spelled backwards is NOITAVITOM.

BOSS spelled backwards is self explanatory, too. (think about that one)

Do good ideas exist? Absolutely.

Can we have more fun out there and make a whole lot more improvements in workplace engagement and motivation?



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Dr. Scott Simmerman, Surprised Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.

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