Intrinsic motivation via OSS

You can motivate by fear. And you can motivate by reward. But both of these methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self-motivation.”
Homer Rice
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When it comes to OSS operators, I’m not a particularly strong believer in the carrot or stick approach to motivation to gain outstanding results using the tools they’re provided with.

I’m going to divert slightly here with an analogous story. Many years ago, I walked into one of Australia’s largest banks and asked for information about a common banking service (eg a term deposit). The girl at the desk assured me that they didn’t provide that service. Being surprised, I thought I’d better ask the branch manager. Sure enough, she also confirmed that they didn’t offer this service.

I then rang a friend who had worked for this bank for nearly 20 years before recently becoming a freelance mortgage agent. He was 99.9% sure that this bank did offer the service and made a follow-up call to confirm that not only did the bank offer the service but it was their most lucrative and most prolific.

His message from this experience was that the bank has to fill nearly 50,000 roles and unfortunately the branches often have trouble finding staff with the intrinsic motivation to learn their products, services, customer service ethic, etc….. Yes, even the branch managers.

Like banks, CSPs are often some of the biggest employers in any given country, which means that it’s quite likely that they also have lots of staff that aren’t completely motivated with what they’re doing.

Thanks to Pete Loder for suggesting this link:

I’m currently reading Dr Jason Fox’s book, “The Game Changer” and am really excited about the prospect of how gamification of OSS design can revolutionise the intrinsic motivation of operational staff without seeking to manipulate. One of Jason’s blogs provides a 7-step plan describing this in more detail, but I’d recommend having a wander through his other entries too.

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