Human motivation is one of the most powerful forces of the universe. A motivated person feels he is working in something larger than himself, increasing commitment and therefore the quality of the work. You really want a very motivated team in any improvement project. The problem is that nobody can motivate others, because motivation at its best comes from the inside. The best one can do is to promote the best environment for intrinsic motivation to happen. Research shows that the following aspects are critical and have to be present to get the most from your improvement team:
- Autonomy: Allow the team to take their own decisions. Let them decide and implement. There are few better show stoppers for a team that noticing that managers have already decided what to do and will not consider their ideas.
- Mastery: Allow the team to learn tools and use them to improve their own work. Create experts and let them teach their peers.
- Purpose: Allow the team to work in problems that matter. Pick something that really needs to be solved.
This video is a nice introduction to these ideas on motivation: