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Self Motivated Teams


We will be looking at the introduction of self motivated teams in an agency environment later this year, working on the premise that high involvement is linked to high performance.

Does anyone have experience of training/developing managers and employees in such a scenario to achieve maximum effectiveness ?
Karen Collins

5 Responses

  1. I have seen this approach before!
    Several years ago a national oil company introduced the idea of self motivated teams. It was done quickly to avoid argument and the first consequence, which may have been a strategy, was that all of the middle management were made redundant.

    The teams were told that they were now self motivated and therefore did not need middle management so get on with it, isnt this what you always wanted?

    The resulting confusion and lack of direction caused the oil company endless problems until they finally admitted that it had been a bad idea, by which time all of the middle managers had disappeared elsewhere and the company were unable to retrace their steps.

    Self motivated teams are a good idea and people do work better when they are working for themselves but they will not become motivated because someone tells them that they are now self motivated.

    Where the Oil Company failed was not providing the teams with the support or the environment they needed to become motivated.
    As a result they ended up with the same people and the same attitudes that they had before, minus the managers.

    What they wanted was the same people with different attitudes.

    To change peoples attitudes we have to create a different environment and that takes time.
    It has never been done through training, but it may be done by changing peoples expectations.


  2. self-motivating teams
    HI Karen
    I was involved in delivering a 4 day course at a public sector organisation entitled ‘managing in the changing environment’ and this was all about encouraging colleagues to begin to work flexibly i.e. both interdependently and ,when needed, in the traditional hierarchy. Both have their advantages in different circumstances. Hierarchy is very important during a fire situation or a military situation for example. One of the objectives was to get the people to start thinking about self and team motivation and self and team direction. If I can help let me know what you’re looking for

  3. High Perf Teams
    Dear Karen,
    I regularly train teams of people to become High Performing Teams, indeed one of ‘my teams’ has recently won an award for being the best team in its industry.

    The big difference between a team and a high performing team is in part the self-motivation that you are looking for, and it is achieved through high involvement.

    But there are a number of other steps that you must look at first.

    If you want some quick info of the internet, then I suggest you seach for the Harvard Peak Performance Pyramid, the UCLA Team Performance Study, and the City University Study on Team Attributes.

    There is a lot of info out there and available, or alterately contact me at

    Very best regards,


  4. We do this every day
    Dear Karen

    My company ( has 15 years experience of developing managers and self-motivated teams in small and large organisations including the likes of Rolls-Royce.

    What we do is change the way people think and behave.

    We agree with you beforehand what performance improvements you wish to make and tailor our assistance to deliver you the results you want. We know it works and that it’s sustainable because several years on from our intervention we invite propsective clients to visit past clients and they are more than pleased to tell of their continued success.

    You are welcome to contact me if you would like to find out more or be invited to our next regular visit to a past client.

    Dr Philip Hallam
    Managing Director
    02476 515700

  5. self motivated teams
    Hi Karen,

    Self motivated teams can lead to higher performance, but introducing them certainly requires more than just training and development, as Peter Hunter points out.

    I have found a threefold approach works well. Firstly, give attention to motivation, through involvement, trust and clarity of purpose. Secondly, develop ability, for personal and team skills. And thirdly, make sure there is opportunity, for the teams to follow through and not be blocked by organisational constraints. Otherwise the absense of some of these can lead to frustration and loss of credibility.

    Depending upon the situation, an Action Learning approach can work well here.

    As others, happy to share more details.

    good wishes,

    John Teire


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