Aug 20

What drives a team and each individual member?

What drives a team and each individual member?Curiosity
To answer this question we must know how we can acquire this kind of information.

For that I have read ‘Management 3.0 workout edition’ of Jurgen Appelo, especially the part that describes Intrinsic Motivation (chapter ‘Champfrogs Checklist and Moving Motivators’). This book is currently online available for free.
Jurgen speaks about a lot of motivators in life and that there are ten motivators related to work. He explains what each motivator does and how it can affect you, your team or your organization.
These ten work related motivators are:

  • Acceptance
  • Curiosity
  • Freedom
  • Goal
  • Honor
  • Mastery
  • Order
  • Power
  • Relatedness
  • Status


How can you make use of this as a facilitator?
That’s where it becomes interesting!
Personally I wanted to use this into a retrospective to answer the following questions:

  • What moves each team member?
  • What is the main motivator of the entire team?
  • Which coaching opportunities do I have?


This is how I got my answers!Goal
I conducted a retrospective which consisted of the following structure:

  • Happiness metric (10 minutes)
  • Moving motivators (75 minutes)
  • Compliments (5 minutes)




What’s needed for this retrospective?
Preparation time: Several hours of reading Management 3.0 workout edition and printing and cutting the moving motivator cards.
Maximal amount of persons: 9
Time needed: 90 minutes

  • A printer, thick paper and a pair of scissors to create the motivator cards.
  • Excel for generating the charts. I can send you the Excel I used by mail on request.
  • A room with tables so each person has enough room to lay down their cards.

Let’s skip the explanation of the start and the end of this retrospective and let’s get right to the ‘Moving motivators’.


Moving motivators!
Before you are able to start laying down the motivator cards, there must be some explaining and understanding amongst the participants. To achieve a common understanding I explained each of the ten motivators plenary. As soon as we reached a common understanding, we continued to the next step.
The next step consists of actually laying the cards in the ‘correct’ horizontal order. Because there is no right or wrong, your order is always the correct order for you. The most important motivator should be on the right and the least important motivator should be on the left. I explicitly explained this to the group, because we have a ‘leftie’ in our midst.
When everyone understood the assignment, I gave them a question that they needed to answer with the ordering of the cards, each member by themselves on a separate table. Because of the importance of this part there will be no time-box for it. In our case the question was: What do you find important in your job?
As a facilitator you need to sense if someone needs a little direction or not. Therefore, get off your ass and walk around, do a sneak peek at each table.

As soon as the group finishes ordering the cards, you will be able to continue to the next step.

Example of ordered motivators

Example of ordered motivators


Now it’s time to generate some insights!
Let’s ask each member a few questions about their cards.
To generate the important insights I have asked the following questions:

  • What motivates you the most and can you explain why?
  • What motivates you the least and can you explain why?


After each member answered these questions you may point out to the team what’s noticeable.
In our case most of the team members find the same motivator the most important and they are quite divided about their least important motivator.


Let’s start shifting!
Because we’re heading to the next part of our assignment it’s time to do some explanation to the team.
From now on it is forbidden to shuffle the cards. They must remain in place and may only shift vertical.
Let’s give the team members something to think about and let them shift each motivator one place up, one place down or remaining on the same place. For these team members I asked them to think about was the following question: How does your daily work reflect to the motivators? As a facilitator you need to walk around and take a look at the shifting and make sure that each member plays by the rules.

Example of shifted motivators

Example of shifted motivators


Once again we are going to generate some insights!
Even now we are going to ask each participant some questions:

  • What happened with the most important motivator? Did it shift? Which way? Why?
  • What is the most important motivator that shifted up and why?
  • What is the most important motivator that shifted down and why?

When everyone shared their thoughts it’s time to collect all the results.


After finishing the retrospective I went to my computer and entered all the results into Excel.
I have calculated an ‘Average’, a ‘Minimal’ and a ‘Maximal’ team radar.
To generate more information I have also created a bar chart for ‘Variation’/’Differentiation’ and ‘Max difference’.
It’s great to see that ‘Max difference’ gives you insight in how much the individual team members think alike on a motivator.
Does the team agree on what motivates them? With ‘Variation’ or ‘Differentiation’ it’s possible to find an answer to this. A small value on a motivator indicates the team is likeminded on this particular motivator!


Team radar ('Average', 'Minimal', 'Maximal')

Team radar (‘Average’, ‘Minimal’, ‘Maximal’)

On one of the walls in the team space we have added the printed results of the team.
These results consist of:

  • Team radar (‘Average’, ‘Minimal’, ‘Maximal’)
  • Bar chart (‘Variation’, ‘Max difference’)
  • An explanation form for each motivator
  • An overview of the average cards in horizontal order.
  • An overview of the vertically shifted result.
Bar chart ('Variation', 'Max difference')

Bar chart (‘Variation’, ‘Max difference’)


What’s next?
Print the results for each team member: both individual and team results.
Put the team results on the wall and discuss them with the team.
Discuss each personal chart individually.
Pay extra attention to the most important motivators that didn’t shift or shifted downwards.
These are the traps that can demotivate an employee or even the entire team or department. Be aware of that!
By coaching the team and each individual it might be possible to prevent demotivated employees.


My conclusion at this retrospective:
It was an eye-opener to see what can or must be done to maximize the full potential of an individual or the team. In our case most of the team has the same most important motivator, but they were not always challenged enough. This is a risk that needs a direct follow-up.
I already knew that I find it really interesting to discover what thrives someone and by doing this I realized the amount of coaching opportunities related to motivation there are.


How did you use the moving motivators and what results or insights have you acquired?

Permanent link to this article: http://agilethings.nl/what-thrives-a-team-and-each-individual-member/

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  • Adam Lisewski

    Thanks for sharing that, Dave. And great idea with the variation/difference.
    Have you tried a boxplot diagram for the variation / max difference? Wonder how that would look like.
    Can you please send me your template?

  • Mark

    HI Dave, I would like to use the Moving Motivators first time for a Kickoff of a new Team, could you sent me the Excel for generating the Charts?