Moving Motivators

As Agile Coach I need to investigate different ways to motivate people and check what is the impact of changes in people because of that I read Management 3.0 written by Jurgen Appelo. In this book I found this activity about Moving Motivators that I strongly recommend everybody to know what was the influence of any change in the intrinsic motivators.

“Management guru Jurgen Appelo invented this exercise to reflect on motivation and how it is affected by organizational change. The Moving Motivators exercise is based on the ten intrinsic desires which Jurgen derived from the works of Daniel PinkSteven Reiss, and Edward Deci.

Ten Intrinsic Desires

Moving Motivators is simple while dealing with very complicated pieces of the motivation puzzle. Here’s how you play:

Step One: Which motivators are important to you? Place the cards in the order from Left (least important) to Right (most important.)


Step Two: How can change affect your motivators? Move the card Up for a positive change and Down for a negative one.


Step Three: The reflection of organizational change on your motivators. When most of  your important motivators go down or when the least important ones go up, you may have some work to do on your own motivation.

Moving Motivators was first developed for team managers for one-on-one sessions to learn more about what motivates their team members. Now it is used openly with whole teams, between start-up founders and even in personal relationships.

If you want to dig more go ahead on”

My personal experience

I have been using moving motivators with Scrum team members in two different changes (I prefer to call escenarios).

Escenario 1 – New Scrum Master


The company has decided to assign the role of Scrum Master in a developer that is part of the team.

Positive Impact

There was only one motivator affected in a good way: Goal. The explanation was that  having a Scrum Master inside the team allow the rest of team member to do their job easily.

Escenario 2 – Change of Team Member


The company fired a team member because of bad performance.










Positive Impact

The guy that participated in the activity chose Goal, Honor and Curiosity (all of them belong to the most important motivators) as motivators that were affected in a good way for the arrival of new team member (he has more seniority than he left the company).

Negative impact

There were two motivators: Relatedness and Order, that had a negative impact for the team member who played the activity. Relatedness was affected because of every one that left a company affect the sense of mood of the rest of team member. On the other hand, Order was affected because if you have to work with a new team member you never know what will be his performance.

Vivian Shaw (@humansideoftech) helped a lot of with tips and suggestions to use this exercise and other (Delegation Poker that will be my next article). She is a facilitator of Management 3.0 and this is her URL just in case.

Last but not least, If you want to improve the culture of your management don’t hesitate to buy Management 3.0


#Workout: Games, Tools & Practices to Engage People, Improve Work, and Delight Clients (Management 3.0)

If you want to discuss about this great topic reach me at Twitter (@metlucero), Skype (metlucero) or Email: metlucero [at] gmail [dot] com


Mario Lucero

Mario Lucero

I am all about helping companies to adopt agile as methodology in Chile. Why? I believe many organizations think that agile is not for Chilean companies because of Chilean culture is totally different from i.e. USA culture but I worked with Chilean professionals who after using agile realized it is feasible to implement it. Agile works in small and large projects and there are many evidences which demonstrate this.

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