A story about motivation

I attended a user group meeting yesterday evening and it pretty much blew my mind. I came out in the end excited and fully motivated to apply everything I have learned.

The topic of the meeting was motivation. Your motivation and your team’s motivation at your company, in your project and generally in software development. I usually go to UG meetings involving topics about software development and this one was rather unusual but nevertheless extremely interesting and the way Udo Wiegärtner presented it was amazing.

The presentation was inspired by the movie Dead Poets Society with Robin Williams, which I am ashamed to say I did not watch yet but I most definitely will after this. 🙂

Using certain scenes of the movie and a list of related books, Udo gave us the following takeaways:

  • The principles of motivation: Tradition. Honor. Discipline. Excellence. Forget them!
  • Forget motivation charts and metrics. Motivation comes from within.
  • Motivation 1.0 – 2.0 – 3.0 (A Whole New Mind Drive by Dan Pink):
    • 1.0: survival
    • 2.0: “carrots and sticks” or “reward and punishment”
    • 3.0: intrinsic – autonomy, purpose and mastery
    • We MUST aim for Motivation 3.0!
  • Carpe Diem. Carpe Team.
  • Use Moving Motivators defined in Management 3.0 to find out what motivates your team members.
  • Use rituals in your team, for your team to find its identity.
  • Change your perspective, look at things in a different way: see achievements, celebrate successes.
The Golden Circle


  • No more Motivation 2.0!
  • What are my motivators?
  • Use rituals!
  • Change perspective!
  • Get out of your comfort zone!
  • Build quality!
  • You don’t have to start from scratch!
  • Start with why!

Udo is often speaking at conferences, if you have a chance to watch this particular talk, go for it! I highly recommend it.