Tag Archives: E-Learning Summer School

Herzberg’s Dog – ‘Movement’ v ‘Motivation’

herzberg's dogHerzberg’s famous article ‘One more time: how do you motivate employees?’ has been reprinted by the Harvard Business Review at least five times since the 1968 original. Presumably this is, as suggested by John Seddon, because people continue not to get the message.

Seddon’s point is fair because Herzberg’s core message contravenes virtually every manager’s intuition about motivation and messes with the head of even the most sincere and enthusiastic leader.

Herzberg’s message?            You cannot motivate people.

What Herzberg advocates is for leaders to find ways to enable people to draw on their own (intrinsic) motivation to do work well. This means creating the environment where people can explore their creativity and abilities and thereby contribute more.

This is different to providing a ‘carrot’ or ‘stick’.  External incentives effectively shape the rules of work – they do not draw from the resources within the person. This means that as people interpret the rules, there may be unintended consequences – manipulation, cheating, internal competition (or hiding good ideas). If punishment is visible it creates fear, reticence to suggest anything new, and of course has a negative impact on morale.

Further Reading

Herzberg, F. (1968) “One more time: how do you motivate employees?”, Harvard Business Review, vol. 46, iss. 1, pp. 53–62

Seddon, J. (2003). Freedom from Command and Control. Buckingham: Vanguard Press.

Change Academy meeting – bad news and good news…

By Cindy Vallance @cdvallance

Here we are, two days from week zero and everyone is frantically busy so I thought I would share just a few thoughts.

We had our first Change Academy meeting of 2012/13 yesterday. It certainly had the great effect of reinvigorating me and the rest of the group for the year ahead as we reflected on the purpose of Social Sciences Change Academy – to encourage a stronger community of learning through collaboration between students, academic staff and professional services staff.  A few highlights include:


BAD news – since everyone is so busy, we only had six of our twelve group members who were able to attend the meeting.

GOOD news – we managed to still have representation from our full complement of academic and professional services staff and students.

SOLUTION to BAD news – we will have two meetings a term since we know that given the group’s diverse composition, it is nearly impossible to get everyone together at the same time. We will also continue to have sub-group meetings and informal caffeine breakout sessions.


BAD news – my Blackberry blasted the song “She Wants to Go to the Seaside” by the  Kooks in the middle of our meeting.

GOOD news – the disruption did not affect the positive and productive discussion, plans began to be formulated and we all worked very hard not to interrupt each other and to ensure every voice was heard.

SOLUTION to BAD news – remember to set Blackberry ‘silent’ feature in future.


BAD news – we ran out of time to work through our SharePoint demo.

GOOD news – we will take forward a number of specific ways to support Social Sciences and to work to continue to build momentum around our ethos over the coming year.

SOLUTION to BAD news – two of our members will arrange dates for the SharePoint demo and another member is on hand to provide further practical support.

We will continue to write more about Change Academy and change in general in our blogs. In the meantime, best wishes to all for Welcome Week and keep up by following some of the new University of Kent twitter feeds mentioned here. You might also want to consider how you’re working with social media regardless of your role at the University by having a look at the materials on Moodle from the Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching’s (UELT) first E-Learning Summer School held last week at Kent.