The motivation of people

Today I stumbled across a series of tweets that Clay Johnston sent about Parks and Recreation. Clay is a doer, he is known to break down barriers and work through how to make the impossible possible. Clay also came to Webstock in 2013 and I was fortunate enough to attend his workshop.

Clay’s tweet series is below:

This whole topic has been a hot point of mine whenever I am asked to look at Innovation processes within corporations. Motivation is key, you cannot just ignore it. There are people who will do anything, using their own spare time to drive innovative and ideas they’re passionate about. Whether it’s their day job or their own project, there are people who live to work (as Clay outlined above). However, there are people who don’t work that way, that way sounds ridiculous to them. They go home when it’s time, they indulge in their life, rather than work. These are people who work to live.

The problem I have is that the latter type of people are often told they’re not innovative or passionate and that is just not true. They have different priorities then others. This does not mean they don’t have ideas or are any less passionate then someone else.

I was very much a live to work person, however some serious health issues a few years ago forced me to to move into a work to live motivation. I fluctuate between the two nowadays. I’m disgustingly passionate, I just can’t stop working on things that excite me. It doesn’t mean I’m more passionate then others, if anything it probably means I’m too excited and impatient.

If you’re a manager or someone running innovation incubators, just be conscious of the people you’re interacting with. As much as you’re aware of someones personality, also be aware of what motivates them and how to keep them interested and engaged.

Feature image by Flickr user Hartwig HKD.

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