By Kjartan Sigurdsson, writing from Horsens, Denmark.
Motivation is important to every organization in order to stay innovative and open-minded. However, motivation has many different manifestations and can appear as a negative attitude toward changes, i.e. changes are not seen as having the potential to result in competitive advantage. Alternatively, motivation can include high optimism and belief that changes will always lead to success.
But why is motivation so important? There is no doubt that motivation can work as an element or a driver for change. And, it can urge business leaders to move the business forward by spotting hidden opportunities and finding new solutions. However, neither a negative attitude toward changes or being too optimistic is the best key to success. Instead a well-defined business model, one that may result from business model innovation, is the key success factor.
Cowardice vs. bravery
One might think that a negative attitude stems from managers’ cowardice or fear of change. But this can also be seen as being over-protective or the belief that changes will not lead to sustainable growth.
On the other hand, there is the brave manager who runs faster than everyone else, unfortunately sometimes without a clear vision and well defined business model as a guide. An organization that is managed by people who are too preoccupied with making money but are not paying attention to the importance of having a clear strategy about what kind of business they want to run and where they should put their focus to help the business to grow is not likely to succeed in the long run. The same thing applies here as in the prior example; no business model and an ill-defined business strategy are likely to result in failure to succeed and lack of innovation.
Management vs. leadership
Things have changed in the organizational environment (at least in some cases); fear and control can achieve short-term results and compliance, but they won’t get you to the finish line or win the efforts of those you lead. Managing an organization by giving orders from the tower down the chain is a powerful position, but becoming an increasingly outdated style to run a successful business. Motivation by fear is an old belief system that many managers are tempted to use when they are not clear on their vision and growth opportunities. To avoid such a situation, it is important to put emphasis on a clear vision and a well-defined business model, which characterize a more situational leadership approach. Knowing when to push or pull your team comes about through a clear vision on strategy and knowledge that is generated through a well-established flow of information where all employees are kept updated and involved in business processes. Therefore, it is important for business leaders to stay motivated, win trust and respect and motivate their employees to stay focused on running a successful business.