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Moving Motivators – Extended Gameplay for Deeper Discussions about your Teams Motivations

In my previous blog post, I explained the Moving Motivators game. If you don’t know anything about it yet, read this first.

In a nutshell, Moving Motivators is a Management 3.0 card game that consists of 10 intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. It helps you to understand each others motivation. But not only that, I found it very useful to learn more about yourself as a kind of self-reflection.

I played it many times with a group of people or with individuals. Through some iterations and experimenting with it, I have developed an extended way of playing it, which I like to share with you.

The idea of the new gameplay came into my mind when working with our partner attuned, who have created motivation software. They use 11 motivators in their application which are similar to the Moving Motivators ones. The team members can not only define their most important motivators, but they also can find out if they are fulfilled in their current work or not.
This inspired me and is also the goal of my new way of playing Moving Motivators. You will not only understand each other’s important motivators but also be able to understand which ones are satisfied and which are not.

Here is how you play it (online or in-person):

  • Round 1: Every participant puts their 3 most important motivators in front of them from the top (most important) to bottom (least important).
  • Then each participant shares the reason why the motivators are important to them.
  • Round 2: When everyone is finished, the participants think about their current work: Is each motivator currently fulfilled? Move the card to the left if it is satisfied, if not then move it to the right.
  • Again each participant shares the reason for their rating.
  • Round 3: Now everyone takes a post-it and thinks about how the motivators which are at the right could be improved and put the post-it to the motivator. If you have all at the left, lucky you 🙂
  • Share your action item(s) and try to build on other people feedback. Can you come with new ideas for yourself and your teammates?

Experiment with my team

I played this version with my team and it helped us to get a better understanding of each others motivation and how to improve it.
First, everyone in the team shared their top three motivators and explained them.
For example, these are my 3 most important motivators:

  1. Curiosity – I am always interested in trying out something new, something different. Very often I take a new, unknown street, just to see what I can explore. Luckily, my job allows me to experiment a lot with new ideas, like developing a new way of playing Moving Motivators 🙂
  2. Freedom – I really like to have a say about my own destiny. A couple of years I decided to live in Japan and I have created my own company here. So, I can decide a lot about my work and life at the moment. I am more motivated than ever.
  3. Relatedness – Meeting people and talking to people really gives me energy. And this is the only motivator which is not so greatly satisfied as I work a lot at home and sometimes don’t meet people in person the whole day.

This already was useful information for me and my team members. For example, “Curiosity” was our common motivator, we all really love to try out new things. And as we are kind of change agents of a new management method in Japan, we need to be curious and experimental in order to improve and adapt to the new methods fast. So, I was very happy that we had such a thing in common.

Then we talked if our motivators are fulfilled or not. In my case, the first two motivators are fulfilled and don’t need any action. But as I am working almost 100% of the time at home and meeting people became rare in these Covid19 times, I sometimes feel lonely. This demotivates me sometimes because my “Relatedness” motivator is not fulfilled. Again, we had a very good discussion about this and my team member showed me a lot of compassion as we are all in the same situation. I felt that such kind of openness creates a good understanding of each other and a strong team bond.

We then brainstormed about how this could be improved. We came up with some good ideas and one of them was to do regular pair-work sessions. After implementing more pair-work sessions I felt that this motivator definitely improved a lot. For me, this experiment was a big success because we could learn more about each other and work on the improvement of our motivation

I am running this version of the Moving Motivators now in most of my workshops and with most of my clients. It really helped them to foster good conversations, increased their understanding about each others situation and gives them clear guidance on how to improve each other’s motivation.
After all, Management is all about communication and team-building. Therefore, I really like this way of playing as it goes deeper than the original way to play it, even it takes a bit more time.

Give it a try and let me know if you have any questions.
If you want to get the cards yourself, visit the Management 3.0 website. For my original Japanese Moving Motivators, download them for free or purchase the physical card in the webshop.