Many organizations employ professional speakers whose chief function is to motivate groups in business, education, and other areas of society. See what you can learn by visiting and assessing the opportunities offered by the following websites associated with organizations of this sort:
Warren Bennis and Patricia Biederman’s book Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration, published in 1997 by Perseus Books, describes an impressive example of successful creative collaboration by a small group of employees in Lockheed Martin Corporation during World War II. Lockheed’s “skunkworks”—an unstructured, independent offshoot of the parent company—encouraged collaboration among engineers and others to produce innovative new products in a very short time.
The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington strives to provide its students with a fully collaborative learning environment built around “learning communities.” Visiting the college’s campus or its website (http://www.evergreen.edu) will reveal some of the principles and practices underlying Evergreen’s collaborative philosophy.
Many pairs of musicians have created famous and popular musical compositions. Read about these partnerships to see how well they were able to collaborate and what they felt made their collaboration successful:
W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel
John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Carolyn Wiley of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga published an article in the International Journal of Manpower, “What motivates employees according to over 40 years of motivation surveys” (1997—volume 18, issue 3), in which she claimed that employees overwhelmingly chose “good wages” as their top motivator. Although wages seem to be purely extrinsic, Wiley contended that they communicate what an organization values and that they affect employees’ emotional and psychological wellbeing. Reading Wiley’s article should give you a potentially new perspective on what motivates people to put forth effort in the business world.
Many theorists believe that what motivates people is culture-specific. Asians, in particular, are held to behave according to Confucian principles and collectivist motives. The chapter “The nature of achievement motivation in collectivist societies” in Individualism and collectivism: Theory, method, and applications (1994; Cross-cultural research and methodology series, Vol. 18; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications) offers an explanation of this viewpoint.