There are so many models and theories of motivation. How can we put all of them into a single, comprehensive framework?
This is a question I get asked a lot, and the answer I give is that you have to recognise two factors:
In selecting four levels, I am taking an approach pioneered by well-known motivational thinkers, like Clayton Alderfer (ERG theory – with three levels of Existence, relatedness, and Growth) and Abraham Maslow (with his famous Hierarchy of Needs, with – depending on your interpretation – five or six levels: survival, security, belonging, status, self-esteem, and self-actualisation). My four levels are:
The last of these is the subject of Daniel Pink’s excellent book, Drive. My worry, though, is that too many people will pick up on his broad messages and think that these are the only motivators that matter.
Clearly we are complex beings with a lot of different motivators, and I hope tis simplified model helps you to understand how some of them fit together into a wider picture.
It is also relevant to understand how different forms of power work on these different motivational levels.
When deciding what form of power to use, think about what level of motivation you can most effectively appeal to.
This features a chapter on the use of Soft Power and also another on a fourth form of power: Hidden Power.
Learn more about The Influence Agenda at www.theinfluenceagenda.co.uk.