Moving Motivators to foster transparency about the individual's desires and the common understanding in teams of financial product innovation areas


Financial product innovation areas require experts with different skills and personalities. They help to bring up creative and customer-centric results which foster customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, it is not always clear for every individual in a new team, which desires she/he has so that her/his energy level for a great daily performance is fostered.

The practice: Short explained

If a team changes, the team members may have a new stance as well as a new role inside a team. Then, in a team in a product innovation area, team members can use the moving motivator cards to better understand and derive what will intrinsically motivate them in the new team.

I would like to introduce the different motivators because it is important to describe each motivator and what they mean, many people may not know and get a little lost:

There are ten cards as you can see in figure 1:

Figure 1: Overview of the 10 Moving Motivator Cards

To highlight their meaning in more detail, I would like to highlight some more details:

  • Relatedness: “I have good social contacts with the people in and around my work”
  • Status: “My position is good and recognized by the people who work with me”
  • Curiosity: “I have plenty of things to investigate and to think about”
  • Acceptance: “The people around me approve of what I do and who I am”
  • Goal: “My purpose in life is reflected in the work that I do”
  • Power: “There’s enough room for me to influence what happens around me”
  • Freedom: “I am independent of the others with my own work and responsibilities”
  • Honor: “I feel proud that my personal values are reflected in how I work”
  • Mastery: “My work challenges my competence but it is still within my abilities”
  • Order: “There are enough rules and policies for a stable environment”

In the second step, each individual can discuss its moving motivators to get deeper insights / move the motivators up and down: What are the motivators that least motivate me, down? Which motivators does maximum motivate me and the other ones, up? This helps to foster transparency inside the team as well as each individual’s own understanding of the intrinsic motivation of each individual. In the third step, the individuals talk with the other team members about moving motivators from them to get deeper insights about their colleagues so that trust and resilience are increased.

Why did I decide to use this practice?

My team was new and I felt that some of the team members were not working well inside the team as an individual as well as with their team members. Furthermore, the energy level inside the room was relatively low.

How did I know that the energy before starting was low?

I made a short survey about the motivation level of my team from 0 to 10 every week. As I recognized that the motivation level went from 8 to 6 in only two weeks, I decided to use the moving motivators practice to raise up the energy as well as the clearance about the different motivational stances of the individuals in my team.

How did I use this practice?

How is the dynamic of the moving motivators carried out? (For people who will know her from your article)

At the beginning of a Sprint Retrospective, I gave every team member a set of moving motivator cards. Then, two persons per each were going into groups to visualize with the selected and matching Moving Motivators cards, which desires they have actually. After 20 minutes, every group was presenting their selected desires for 5 minutes to the whole team. The team was clarifying questions and remarks. Then, they brainstormed if there are ways to improve the way of working together as a team so that the desires of everybody are considered. After 4 weeks, we run into another Sprint Retrospective similar session to get transparency about the success of this experiment and be able to inspect and adapt in a suitable way. This increased the energy level and morale of every individual and the team in a strong way.

Why did I do almost all the dynamics in retrospectives?

My first experiment with the Management 3.0 practice was in a Scrum event which is suitable to improve the collaboration and reflect on each other the situation. Therefore the retrospective was the right place to foster a conversation in an open and respectful way about my team's moving motivators.

My learnings as a facilitator

The usage in the Sprint Retrospective was the right place because I created as a facilitator a psychological safety environment where the people were able to speak openly and respectfully with each other.

Important was also that the timebox of two hours gave enough space for the team without any pressure so that they were able to speak about the individual’s desires and develop suitable improvements for their team.

How was I able to create an environment of psychological safety?

I use in my retrospective as an introduction “to set up the stage” the vegas rule: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. As a team, we stay to this rule — this means we let every and especially sensible information inside the team — only if the whole team agrees to bring up relevant information outside the team, we will communicate to our environment things which we discussed in a retrospective. Furthermore, my team lives the Scrum values of openness, respect, courage, commitment, and focus — this fosters also our common trust.

What could you do better or differently next time?

I would not change the way how I used the Moving Motivators. I will use them every two to three Sprint Retrospective because in our product finance innovation area exists a high complexity and the desires of the individuals have a high impact on our outcomes and also the way how I need to facilitate my team.

What experiments can I think of doing with the implementation of this practice?

I plan to use the moving motivators next time during a weekend trip for team building. We will play some collaboration games in nature and everybody on my team made will obtain different responsibilities and roles during that two days in different games. Then, I wanna use the moving motivators to let my individuals explore the different influences on their motivation in different games with their different responsibilities and team constellations.




Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store