The Science and Art of Change – Part 2


By: Mary Beth McEuen

This topic has me intrigued, so I plan to spend some time exploring further The Science and Art of Change. In my prior post, I shared three people principles that should be considered as part of any change program:

  • All humans are simultaneously emotional and rational.
  • All humans are biologically wired to adapt in a social setting.
  • All humans are driven by multiple motivators.

The premise that humans are driven by multiple motivators is becoming common knowledge. Dan Pink’s new book Drive is creating a lot of buzz in the business world about human motivation. The premise of this book is that there are three drives or motivators … Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. Additionally, Dan Pink challenges the notion of carrots and sticks saying they do not work. While Dan Pink is on to something important challenging the status quo thinking on motivation, a more biologically-based motivation model is needed.

The most intriguing work I’ve seen on human drives and motivation is from the work of Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria with Harvard Business School. People are driven, biologically, to acquire, to bond, to create, and to defend. Inherent in our drive to acquire is the acquisition of stuff and status. These things are important, yet incomplete, in describing human motivation. We are also driven to bond with other people and even brands. We are driven to create a better self, a better family, a better community, a better company. Once we have acquired stuff or status, bonded with people or brand, and created something we care about …. we are driven to defend what we have.

Is your change program connecting to all four human drives?

One Comment on “The Science and Art of Change – Part 2”

  • Chris Travell January 29th, 2012 3:36 pm

    Come mid March I think you’ll see lots of the Red bull race car probably at the front of the F1 grid!

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