Saturday, September 06, 2008

Motivation - A New Broadcast Task

I'm working on a guided discussion class on how to motivate for a class I'm teaching/coaching/leading/mentoring with my good friend Chris Vadnais. Here is our motivation...behind the motivation:

Our career field, Broadcast Journalist merged with two other career fields: Videography and Graphics. For the first time, there is a possibility our co-workers may or may not want to be apart of this new job. Additionally, there are many perceptions, desires, work-flow issues, fears...that could affect the work climate. The bottom line there are folks at every echelon who may or may not want to be doing what they're slated to do. This is a challenge.

I ask you...my friends, champions of truth, knowledgable sages for help. What topics should we make sure we discuss? How do we capture the need for supervisors to make sure everyone is on-board? How do we mentor the supervisor who doesn't believe? How do we mentor the worker who doesn't believe?

2 comments:

Peter O'Connell said...

Start with the end in mind.

Everyone not only needs to understand what the goal is, they have to want to be a part of it or at least understand how vital their individual parts are to the outcome.

Maybe start with the glorious outcome that excites everyone....what ever that goal is, hopefully their can be visuals and sound in that explaination.

Then break down who helped make that outcome possible, each job description, and make it sound vital and exciting.

Then funnel it down to how you need team members for each of those tasks to fulfill their vital role for your project.

Think of it as a funnel with the end tip being the sign up and sign on of your team.

Best always,
- Peter

MoonDog said...

I have found that the concept of "Really Caring" and expressing empathy go a long way in helping people adapt to new relationships.

And our personal and organizational changes must always be based on questions and dialogues about strengths, successes, values, hopes, and dreams. It focuses on the positive, not the negative.

In the academinc world there are concepts like this article that I have found helpful.

Appreciative Inquiry: A Tool for Transformational Learning
Chris Davis, Baker College
This paper attempts to do three things. First, it provides a summary of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and the theory
supporting AI as a process for transformational learning. Second, it describes a case study using AI for this
purpose. Third, it provides an outline for an experiential AI session designed to demonstrate the power of this
approach.
Transformational Learning
The goal of transformative learning is to produce a change in the learner’s mental models. Mental models
are used in both cognitive psychology (Caine, Caine, and Crowell, 1999; Wind and Crook, 2004) and organizational
learning (Senge, 1990) to describe the structures that influence how we make sense of the world and take action.
Senge describes them as “deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures of images that influence
how we understand the world and how we take action. Very often, we are not consciously aware of our mental
models or the effects they have on our behavior.” (Senge, 1990, p. 8). In contrast to learning that changes what we
know, transformative learning changes how we know (Kegan, 2000), and (Wind and Crook, 2004).
The process for achieving transformative learning is to become aware of the mental models at work in
ourselves (Caine, Caine, and Crowell, 1999), (Mezirow, 2000), and (Wind and Crook, 2004). Mezirow advocates a
process for achieving transformation through constructive discourse and critical reflection. This approach embodies
a cognitive dissonance-based process that inherently forces the learner to confront negative or unsatisfactory aspects
of her or his current self. This leads to a resistance to the learning. In his model of transformative learning, Boyd
includes a grief stage in recognition of the emotional dimension to transformative changes. Ultimately,
transformational change is a change in our sense of ourselves (Cain, Caine, and Crowell, 1999).
Mezirow’s views the transformative learning process as having its origin either in a problem or deficit
(Mezirow, 2000). This causes a disorienting dilemma leading to a negative self-examination, eventually leading to a
critical assessment of mental models that provides the foundation for transformative learning. Boyd, who has a
different conceptualization of transformative learning from Mezirow (Taylor, 1998), does share this problemfocused/
deficit-based approach, which Boyd refers to as a “personal dilemma” (Boyd, 1991). Both Mezirow and
Boyd appear to share a view held by many that change comes from crisis (Kofman and Senge, 1993). Appreciative
Inquiry provides an alternative process for transformational learning that is neither problem-based nor deficitfocused.
Appreciative Inquiry
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) offers an alternative model to transformative learning for both individuals and
organizations. Developed by David Cooperrider and his colleagues at Case Western Reserve University in the
1980s, AI is a product of the positive psychology and organizational change movements. Whitney and Trosten-
Bloom (2003) describe AI as “a form of personal and organizational change based on questions and dialogues about
strengths, successes, values, hopes, and dreams. It focuses on the positive, not the negative.” Elsewhere, Whitney
(1998) describes the AI as “the vehicle for change to emerge. As a high-involvement process, it leads
simultaneously to the reconfiguration of organizational meaning and relationships. It shifts the network of who talks
to whom about what. The careful selection of topics for the AI process alters the organization agenda and enables
more positive patterns of thinking and performance to emerge.”
The AI process initiates and fosters a conversation in an organization that in turn fosters transformation by
altering the stories and narratives that define the organization and the individuals who make up the organization. The
AI process uses a four-phase model to foster transformative learning known as the 4-D Cycle.
The first phase, Discovery, aims to identify the “best of what is” by soliciting and capturing stories about
positive aspects of the current situation. Stories are central to the AI process, but the impact of stories is in the
images of success that they create and foster. The centrality of experience is shared by AI and traditional models of
transformative learning. However, in AI the rational discourse of traditional transformative learning is replaced by a
mytho-poetic process as described by Dirkx (1998).
The second phase, Dream, focuses on “what might be.” The critical reflection of traditional transformative
learning is replaced by a process of appreciative reflection. By emphasizing positives existing in the current
condition, AI avoids the dissonance inherent in the critical approach. It also creates an environment for
Chris Davis, Baker College, chris.davis@baker.edu. Presented at the Sixth International Transformative Learning
Conference, Michigan State University, Oct. 6-9, 2005.
transformation that does not require a “disorienting dilemma” nor feelings of guilt or shame that Mezirow identifies
as phases in his model of transformative learning (Taylor, 1998).
During the third phase, Design, “provocative propositions” or design statements are articulated that capture
the vision of the Dream phase. Based on the stories of Discovery, the Dream and Design phases clearly evoke the
use of imagination and image in envisioning a desired future, another example of appreciative inquiry’s similarity
with Dirkx’s transformative learning model (Dirkx, 1998).
Finally, the Destiny phase yields action plans that define “what will be” to achieve the design statements.
The orientation towards action as the fulfillment of transformation follows the traditional process of transformative
learning.