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matrix vision newsletter
Motivation Issue
September, 2010 - Vol 3, Issue 9
In This Issue
Motivation Theories
OCSOBER - Support Barry!
More on Motivation
360 Feedback
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Story of the Month

Many years ago two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential.


The first salesman reported back, "There is no potential here - nobody wears shoes."


The second salesman reported back, "There is massive potential here - nobody wears shoes."


Motivation Quotes


"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."  

Harry S Truman 


"The workplace should primarily be an incubator for the human spirit."  

Anita Roddick


"Use what talents you possess; The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best."  

Henry Van Dyke


 "Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason so few engage in it."  

Henry Ford


"Vision without action is a daydream.  Action with without vision is a nightmare."  

Japanese Proverb


"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death."


George Bernard Shaw


"Know your limits, but never stop trying to exceed them."  


Author Unknown


"Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated; you can't cross a chasm in two small jumps."  

David Lloyd George



"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."  

Henry David Thoreau


"One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks."  

Jack Penn

Welcome to the matrix vision newsletter for September. This month's newsletter is focussed on Motivation

This newsletter explores the topic and provides some tools and tips that can help us be more effective in working with the people who work with us.

The newsletter presents several articles and ideas.
  • Definitions and discussion of motivation - external or internal?
  • Motivation theories including some recent thoughts in the Harvard Business Review
  • Some checklists to encourage a motivating environment and remove demotivating elements
In addition read about 360 degree feedback (a powerful motivational tool) and how I need your help and support for OCSOBER.

Enjoy your reading and as always your feedback would be welcome!
If any of the information interests you and if you would like to find out how it can help you please contact us.  We would love to talk with you.


Motivation is defined by the Society for Human Resource Management as "the psychological forces that determine the direction of a person's level of effort, as well as a person's persistence in the face of obstacles". The direction of a person's behaviour refers to the many possible actions that a person could engage in, while persistence refers to whether, when faced with roadblocks and obstacles, an individual keeps trying or gives up.

Motivation Theory

Denis Waitley, author of The Psychology of Winning believes that winners possess Positive Self-Motivation. Here is an excerpt from his book:

"Everyone is self-motivated - a little or a lot - positively or negatively.


Motivation is a much maligned, over-franchised, over-promoted, and misunderstood term. The word, "Motive" is defined as that within the individual, rather than outside, which incites him or her to action; an idea, need, emotion, or organic state that prompts to action.


Motivation is a force which moves us to action, and it, springs from inside the individual. Defined as a strong tendency toward or away from an object or situation it can be learned and developed. It does not have to be in-born.


For too long, however, it has been wrongly assumed that motivation is extraneous - that it can be pumped in from the outside through incentives, pep talks, contests, rallies, and sermons.


Such activities do provide concepts, encouragement and inspiration for individuals to turn on their creative powers-but only if they want to.


And that's the secret. Lasting change is effected only when the need for change is both understood and internalised. Until the reward or incentive has been interpreted and internalised, it has no motivating power."

As managers and leaders we need to understand that motivation is not something that we "do" to others.  We cannot motivate another human being.  What we need to strive to do in our workplaces is to create the kind of environment that enables people to become motivated in a positive way that can achieve success for them and for us.



There are a few ideas in this newsletter that can assist you. However if you would like some help in creating a motivational environment in your workplace, give us a call.





Motivation Theories

Motivation Theories

Recently I came across an article by Fred Nickels summarising the six major motivation theories and how managers can use them in managing their employees. Here is a summary of the article.


Equity Theory - John Adams


Theory Summary

People compare themselves to their peers to see if they are being treated equitably and adjust their own efforts accordingly. 

Advice to Managers

Make sure that all employees are being treated fairly.  Address any issues of inequity immediately.


Two Factor Theory - Frederick Herzberg


Theory Summary

People are motivated by things like achievement, recognition, meaningful work, responsibility and growth. People are dissatisfied by things like policies, especially "red tape" and working conditions. 

Advice to Managers

Address employee motivation and dissatisfaction as separate issues.  Redesign work and jobs to build in motivation.


Hierarchy of Needs - Abraham Maslow


Theory Summary

People are motivated by five levels of needs: (1) physical, (2) safety, (3) social, (4) esteem and (5) self-actualisation.  As lower level needs are met, those at higher levels become more important.

Advice to Managers

Ensure that employees lower level needs are satisfied; provide opportunities to meet higher level needs.


Three Needs Theory - David McLelland


Theory Summary

People have three basic needs: (1) achievement (nAch), (2) affiliation (nAff) and (3) power (nPow).  A sense of achievement is particularly important in the workplace.

Advice to Managers

Set moderately difficult goals for employees; provide lots of feedback regarding achievement.


Goal Setting Theory - George Odiorne


Theory Summary

People are motivated when they participate in setting challenging goals for themselves, understand their role in achieving those goals and progress can be determined.

Advice to Managers

Establish measureable objectives in consultation with employees; link objectives to larger compny goals; provide regular feedback.


Expectancy Theory - Victor Vroom


Theory Summary

People are motivated when they expect their effort will succeed in producing a particular outcome, and that outcome has value for the person.

Advice to Managers

Give employees many opportunities to succeed; simply reward success; make clear the links between rewards and success.


Fred Nickels 





MotivationIn a Harvard Business Review article in 2008, titled Employee Motivation - A Powerful New Model, Nitin Nohria, Boris Groysberg and Linda-Eling Lee suggest that people are guided by four basic emotional needs, or drives, that are the product of our common evolutionary heritage. They are the drives to acquire (obtain scarce goods, including intangibles such as social status); bond (form connections with individuals and groups); comprehend (satisfy our curiosity and master the world around us); and defend (protect against external threats and promote justice). These drives underlie everything we do.


How to Fulfill the Drives That Motivate Employees


For each of the four emotional drives that employees need to fulfill, companies have a primary organisational lever to use In addition there are specific actions that a company can take to make the most of the tools at its disposal.


Drive to Acquire


Primary lever is the Reward System



  • Sharply differentiate good performers from average and poor performance
  • Tie rewards clearly to performance
  • Pay as well as your competitors

Drive to Bond


Primary lever is Culture



  • Foster mutual reliance and friendship among co-workers
  • Value collaboration and teamwork
  • Encourage sharing of best practices

 Drive to Comprehend 


Primary lever
is Job Design

  • Design jobs that have distinct and important roles in the organisation
  • Design jobs that are meaningful and foster a sense of contribution to the organisation

Drive to Defend


Primary levers are Performance Management and Resource Allocation Processes



  • Increase the transparency of all processes
  • Emphasise their fairness
  • Build trust by being just and transparent in granting rewards, assignments and other forms of recognition


 "Employee Motivation - A Powerful New Model", Nohris N., Groysberg B. and Lee L.E., HBR, July-August 2008.



If you would like to know more, give us a call - CLICK HERE
OCSOBER - Support Barry!

What is Ocsober?

OCSOBEROcsober is a fundraising initiative that encourages people to give up alcohol for the month of October.

The money raised goes to Life Education, the organisation behind the iconic educational mascot, Healthy Harold. For 30 years, the loveable giraffe has been teaching Australian children how to enjoy a healthy lifestyle by resisting participation in drug and alcohol abuse. This year, Ocsober aims to raise $1 million to help Life Education and Healthy Harold go into even more schools across Australia.

Ocsober is also an important opportunity to highlight the growing danger of binge drinking and alcohol abuse, particularly among young Australians.


Barry has signed up for the OCSOBER challenge.  Many readers of this newsletter have already shown their support to this great cause and their encouragement to Barry to remain alcohol free in October.  It is not too late to join them!  Please add to Barry's motivation and help support the kids by making your donation at his fundraising page.

                                No Beer!      No Spirits!       No Wine!       Yes,Water! 

More on Motivation


"Demotivators are the negative conditions surrounding tasks that decrease employee motivation.

The first step in creating the SuperMotivating organisation is to rid your company of demotivators.

In most cases, demotivators don't result from explicit wrongdoing by the company. Instead, they are the result of normal operating practices whose negative influence on workers' motivation is unnoticed - or underestimated.


Common Work Demotivators


Office politics. Why work hard when politics, not performance, is what gets you ahead?

Unclear expectations. For example, don't push for speed at all costs, then demand quality.

Unnecessary rules. Don't prohibit talking, for example, when talking doesn't hinder performance.

Poorly designed work processes. Divide the process into boring, repetitious work, and you'll get bored, demotivated workers.

Unproductive meetings. Forcing employees to waste time in useless meetings won't push them to be more efficient back on the job.

Lack of follow-up. Flavour-of the-month programs excite nobody.

Constant change. A habit of  last-minute changes will erode the patience of even the most motivated of employees.

Internal competition. Internal competition is not healthy. It creates a mentality of us vs. them.



Withholding information. Employees who aren't trusted, or who are lied to, aren't inspired to work harder for the company.

Discouraging responses. Naysayers in management eventually kill the drive to initiate.

Criticism. Criticism is never constructive. Value mistakes, for in them lie the seeds of success.

Underutilisation. Idle workers lose drive and motivation.

Tolerating poor performance. Other employees will ask: Why bother to perform well?

Being taken for granted. Employees will make the extra effort if you show you appreciate it.

Overcontrol. Don't treat employees like children or dummies and expect them to be responsible.

Unfairness. Employees may not say anything, but productivity will take a dive.

Being forced to do poor quality work."


from SuperMotivation by Dean Spitzer



"Returning to your challenge of motivating your team, it should now be clear that you should focus on strengthening the intrinsic motivation of team members, captured in the four Rs. Put people in roles with responsibilities that fit their values and stretch their capabilities. Make sure that relationships among team members are supportive and that conflicts don't fester but are quickly resolved. Understand your own values and those of the people you lead so that you can strengthen your relationships with them. When your team performs successfully, provide rewards, but make sure everyone is recognised for exceptional work. And don't forget to give your team reasons to work harder and smarter; articulate and communicate the purpose of the project, how it will serve the organisation and its customers."
The 4Rs of Motivation - Michael Maccoby





Twelve Important Ways to Motivate Employees


  • Provide employees with the information and resources they need to do a good job.
  • Ask employees for their input by involving them in decisions that affect their jobs.
  • Find out directly from employees what motivates them.
  • Personally congratulate employees for their excellent work.
  • Recognise the needs of employees.
  • Establish good channels of communication - be (physically) accessible and available.
  • Use performance as the basis for promotion.
  • Have a promote-from-within policy.
  • Publicly recognise employees for good work (if culturally appropriate to do so publicly).
  • Include recognition as part of morale-building activities to celebrate group success.
  • Have clear goals.
  • Foster a sense of community.
    HRM Magazine, March 2010



360 Feedback
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Matrix Vision is a value added reseller and a user of the most powerful and versatile feedback software tool available today.
People need an efficient, confidential and anonymous vehicle for giving feedback to each other. State-of-the-art software can simplify the process of collecting multi-source (360) feedback for anyone in your organisation.
20/20 Insight GOLD is the world's most versatile feedback tool. With this system, we can set up surveys to collect virtually any type of feedback-ideas, opinions, impressions, ratings - from any number of people about the performance of an individual, a team or even your organisation as a whole.organisation.
Our software contains everything you might need - for everyone involved in the feedback process:
  • More than 1,200 items in a massive library - easily customised - or we can incorporate your competencies.
  • Approximately 300 survey items in leadership categories.  Each one has an associated document for the learner that contains:
    • What a low rating in this item might mean
    • Specific recommendations for improving in this area
    • Recommended resources
  • Ability to not only collect open-ended responses at the end of the survey but also get optional explanatory comments for each item rated, providing extraordinary coaching and personal growth material.
  • Dozens of powerful reports can be generated.  Compare previous to current results to measure improvements.  Produce consolidated reports with summary data for the entire organisation.
  • A 31 page booklet and online performance analysis tool for each feedback recipient to help them create and implement a personal development plan.
We can tailor almost any aspect of a feedback project - add your competencies, use or modify ours - or any combination.  With this unprecedented flexibility, we can provide many different types of surveys for your organisation.  A few examples:
  • All "soft-skills" training to provide a baseline of behaviours, feedback to participants and measureable results to management
  • Leadership and individual skill development
  • Needs analysis
  • Team and organisational effectiveness
  • Climate surveys and customer feedback
Feedback is one of our specialities.  We have the experience and expertise to handle all your feedback and survey administration needs.  We take time to find out exactly what you need, and we create the survey according to your specifications.
  • Save valuable internal staff time for other priorities
  • Get efficient and very cost effective services
  • Relax, knowing that all feedback is kept confidential and stored securely off-site
  • Make it easy and fast for participants with an internet connection to access their assessments from anywhere in the world.
To learn more about the power of 20/20 Insight Gold click on the image.
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To talk with us about how you can use feedback to help improve your organisation, please

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In October the theme of the newsletter will be "Coaching".

All the Best,

Barry Signature
Barry McMaster
Matrix Vision Pty Limited