Clayton Christensen is a Harvard Business School professor, acclaimed for his ground-breaking work on innovation.
His recent book, How Will You Measure Your Life links his years of research in business strategy and innovation, to identifying values and priorities in work-life.
Although this new focus may seem unexpected, Christensen may have pointed to a source of inspiration when he revealed in 2010 that he had been diagnosed with follicular lymphoma and had suffered an ischemic stroke.
In addition, he has been highly visible in his decades of service to The Church of Latter Day Saints.
He reviews “powerful anomalies” in popular conceptions of workforce motivation and incentives designed to drive performance.
He notes that “some of the hardest working people on the planet are employed in charitable organizations. They work in the most difficult conditions imaginable; they earn a fraction of what they would if they were in the private sector. Yet it’s rare to hear of managers of nonprofits complaining about getting their staff motivated. The same goes for the military.”
He points out that incentives are not the same as motivation, and that true motivation involves moving people to do something because they want to.
Hertzberg’s classic article in the Harvard Business Review, introduced the distinction between hygiene factors (if not done right, will cause us to be dissatisfied) and motivation factors (challenging work, recognition, responsibility, and personal growth).
Christensen concludes that Herzberg’s theory of motivation suggests such questions as:
• Is this work meaningful to me?
• Will I have an opportunity for recognition and achievement?
• Am I going to learn new things?
Evaluating the place of personal motivation factors in relation to the priority of hygiene factors is the foundation of career and life satisfaction.
-*What elements of your “work contract” are motivating?-*What helps you determine value and meaning in your work life and personal life?