Archive for the ‘MOTIVATION 3.0’ Category



November 15, 2010

Over the last several years, I have gradually lowered my expectation of benefits I would reap from the monthly ISES meetings, as educational efforts seemed aimed towards the lowest common denominator within the audience.  I surmised that was a natural result of what I felt was using conferences such as The Special Event and EventWorld as a place to line up chapter speakers by sampling “industry leaders” seminar content .  Since most have for years been underwhelming and generally ego-driven show-and-tell pretty pictures, I learned to attend for the networking, and occasionally, was pleasantly surprised  with a new venue, a service or a quality topic and presentation from a guest speaker making his rounds from chapter to chapter.  That approach saved me from being disappointed, and I tried not to think about the impact that national approach to chapter education was having on “dumbing down” the quality of events coming from ISES members. 

That assumption seemed to be reinforced as I looked at “Special Event” magazine.  Twenty years ago, I poured over articles, reading it cover to cover for what I could learn to make me a better event planner.  Today when it comes, I thumb through it quickly for new products and any mention of local MN members, then file it away – knowing if I don’t, I will never come back to it, as it generally holds little of interest in terms of event approaches.

So I was ecstatic last week to be part of the audience that welcomed Kris Kirstoffersen to our November chapter meeting.  I knew I had made the right choice between Pink and ISES when Kris began with the premise that event design is not décor and then jumped right into a progression within ISES that tracked events from party planner to WOW factors to reveals to appealing to senses to creating an experience to what we are really all about – telling a story that stimulates thought and delivers a message.  To recognize that  progression, understand, reinvent a company, and do exceedingly well through the recession should be a signal to all-particularly those companies that view themselves as designers, yet suffered through the down-turn in the economy. 

The message last week reinforced what I observed and experienced, supporting my premise. Those of us that strive to tell the client’s story and view our contribution in this industry as part of a customer’s marketing strategy have had two very good years.

And best of all, I didn’t have to forego Daniel Pink entirely when I chose to attend ISES instead of the AchieveMpls lunch at the Depot at the same time. ran a feature on what Daniel had to say.  I expected the message he conveyed, as I have heard him speak, am an avid fan, and have digested all his books. But it is always nice to hear someone you admire tell you that Minnesota is uniquely positioned to make the educational paradigm shift because “you have an enormous tradition of creativity from the arts community, and a tradition of non-ideological problem-solving. “   The column author, Beth Hawkins also shared that the presentation based on “Drive: The surprising Truth about What Motivates Us” included similar themes he presented at the idea forum TED – so I am off to take a look right now.

  In the end I will not only get a Pink fix, but my faith that ISES may indeed make the transition from early days event planning to the world of experiential messaging has been reinforced. Kudos to the 2010 MN ISES Board.



November 11, 2010

Frequent followers of this blog probably know I became a great supporter of Daniel Pink after attending a University Lecture Series event strictly by chance some five years ago.  Here I was introduced not only to Pink but to a whole new way of thinking as he talked about what led him to write “A Whole New Mind”. Not only did I learn about concepts such as the Creative Class and the Conceptual Age, but it launched the beginnings of my exploration of the 21st century’s version of adult learning models – theories pretty revolutionary from what I lived by in the 70s and 80s during my career in the world of Motivation and Performance Improvement.

Early last year, Pink published his third book, “Drive” and with the introduction of Motivation 3.0 truly stopped me in my tracks.  It took some time and reminders to keep an open mind to get on board, but that I did – although I had some trepidation about some things.  I was looking forward to talking with him in person when he was featured as the guest author at Barnes and Noble in February so off I went – early to get a good seat- to the Galleria, and was sorely disappointed to learn he was stuck on the West Coast and would not make it to Minnesota. 

So, I was especially excited to get another chance when I saw he would be speaking at a luncheon at the Depot today and made a mental note to follow up and get a ticket.

Not so fast!  Today is also the November ISES meeting with Ken Kristoffersen sharing his thoughts and knowledge on Experiential Design – another of my passions and thus a Must Attend. Because, again for followers of the blog, I am equally passionate about  event design  and working to get people within our industry to understand that event design relates to message and desired outcomes, how to engage an audience and start a dialog  and create an immersive experience – and not simply the design of the shell – or look- of an event. 

So I have wrestled with this conflict for days…I’m a founder of this ISES chapter that pushed hard to get a charter– I have to support it…it’s a topic that’s dear to me…I already paid for ticket…but on the other hand, this is the first appearance by Pink in Minneapolis in five years …he is one of the pioneers of this whole new way of thinking-a thought-leader that challenges me to think differently…truly, this was a dilemma. 

But in the end, a client’s needs and the commitment to the chapter reigned supreme- and so I am off to listen and interact with Ken.  If you are not an ISES member and have the time – go see Daniel Pink and call me to share some dialog on his latest thinking!  I promise you, if you don’t know his work – it will get you thinking a new way! Wish I could be there to share it.



February 5, 2010

Last month, I shared my views on our industry’s tactical trends focus; and with that mindset, I approached the sessions on trends at the State of the Industry with some trepidation.

I knew the design roundtable led by Ryan Hanson was positioned to focus on strategic meeting/event design trends – providing his audience was interested. But a quick survey of the attendees clearly indicated they were looking for more of what’s new in colors, décor and other accoutrements. Fortunately, offline, Ryan shared new and interesting perspectives from national industry people I did not know – Mary Boone and Jay Smethurst – and I went away with some great food for thought.

My original mindset reinforced, I took in catering trends and then moved on to Kris Young’s “Crafting More Strategic Meetings.” Here we had a good discussion on the use of events to advance one’s business strategy and in the course of the roundtable, we touched on changing demographics, a new approach and look to general sessions, the misuse of ROI as a term for cost-savings, and much more. The table was not physically full, but we all left full of new insights-and a great handout positioning Meetings and Events as Strategy.

So somewhat stimulated, I progressed to the Closing Session and the reason I had come to the State of the Industry in the first place….a longtime colleague, Joan Eisenstodt, was addressing the group with “Where we go from here: Future Trends”. After following Joan’s column in a major national trade magazine since the late 70s, I first attended one of her seminars in New York in the mid 1980s and left in awe. For more than 25 years since, when I have a chance, I make a point of listening to what she has to say about who we are and where we are going. Tuesday, as usual, Joan was all I expected – and more.

Ethics…Confidential assets…Climate change…Social responsibility…Changing demographics…World economy…Terrorism and other risks…Technology…and Education, Training and Professional Development Delivery-The nine future trends she addressed should not be a surprise to anyone. What lies ahead is more than GREEN and VIRTUAL. These trends are challenges faced by all of us in all industries and countries around the world.

But as we focused on the list, Joan pushed us to the next step. Knowing what is coming, she asked us to think of core competencies we each would need to manage those trends, and how we would acquire them. “Some joined this industry because they loved people and travel and were good at details or sales/marketing. Future competencies will be different.” That was an attention-getter!

I think most of us in the room struggled to respond so she shared some tips. Learn to improvise and think on your feet. Gain an understanding of the adult learning model and how it is changing. Read the American Disability Act and understand it thoroughly. Find legal expertise. Find technical expertise. What you are good at today will not help you be good tomorrow.

Then, as time ran out, she reminded us to access the many resources she had shared with us, including the World Future Society at and closed by holding up a book I immediately recognized….DRIVE by Daniel Pink! Amen, Joan. Thank you for the jolt to move us in the right direction. You made the time I invested on Tuesday more than worthwhile.



January 19, 2010

Sunday’s paper had a review of Daniel Pink’s new book DRIVE; then on Monday morning, the STRIB had more.

A tiny paragraph reported that the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology reinforces the “self-determination theory” upon which DRIVE is based. Their study found that people feel better on weekends because they love the freedom and feel more competent. They conclude that “well-being is based on one’s personal needs for autonomy, competence, and social relationships.”

It appears the debate between traditional Motivation 2.0 and Motivation 3.0 is gaining legs.

As for my own thoughts, a little processing over the past few days had led me to open up to much of what was being said-particularly in terms of the need to connect, engage, and be heard. I’m definitely a proponent of “marketing with, not to” our customers and the fact that the world has changed-a new paradigm of leadership is evolving based on influence, not control. That coupled with my own personal experience in the corporate world where I often felt out of step because I was not working for my bonus or to be a Goalmaker – but because I loved what I did and was driven to do it well…for my company and for my own well-being and growth. And, as I look back, for most of my working life, I have been blessed with leadership that has allowed me to do that. And when I did not have that, I had to move on.

So I looked forward to the gathering at Barnes and Noble last nite to listen to Pink, get answers to my questions, and hopefully meld the two theories into something with familiar roots, and an exciting new future.

Off I went, book in hand, along with a list of questions/comments scribbled in the margins of the book as I read it. Arriving about 6:15 so I could claim a good seat, have time to browse through the B&N design section, and still be in place and ready at 7, I was met by a young lady with bad news.

Pink’s flight out of Portland was cancelled; the appearance was cancelled.




January 11, 2010

Once again, my world has been turned upside down by Daniel Pink. In his latest book, DRIVE, he refutes the entire industry that has been the basis of my business successes and travel around the world in the last forty years. He states the world of motivation which I knew and loved, (known as Motivation 2.0 to Pink), has now been replaced by Motivation 3.0. This is pretty unsettling! But at the same time, he put forth answers to all those nagging questions I have had through a lifetime in the Motivation Industry – so once again, he got my undivided attention-if not my immediate buy-in.

A long time ago (back in 2005) I went to hear a speaker at the Ted Mann…and my outlook on the world was altered. I heard about Right Brain Rising, the Creative Class, and why Minneapolis was a great city. I rushed out and bought the book, A WHOLE NEW MIND to learn more, and that I did. The new senses of design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning would rule in the Conceptual Age which already was upon us. As added bonuses, I also finally grasped the concept of negative space as I saw the arrow in the FedEx logo for the first time, was introduced to laughter clubs, and saw my early dyslexia tendencies-not as a problem-but as an advantage. I was hooked on the thinking of Daniel Pink.

A couple years later, he reappeared with the first business book in Japanese comic format – a career guide entitled THE ADVENTURES OF JOHNNY BUNKO. Great advice quickly summarized in just six salient points. I have been looking for a creative application of “Jap-animation” in my world of events ever since!

And today, I have finished reading DRIVE in which Pink asks me to put aside Maslow’s Theory, the theory of motivation I learned in the early days at Business Incentives, and practiced for years at Carlson Marketing Group. Yes, that theory whose residue surrounds me in my office as I am writing this- those clocks and crystal bowls and memorabilia from incentive trips to London, Rome, Israel, Rio , China, and other points around the world. It has been my life forever, but Pink is asking that I take up new banners of autonomy, mastery and purpose and help close the gap between what science knows and what business does to “rejuvenate our businesses and remake our world.”

Yes, I’ve read the book, but as a proponent of “no blind faith” – I need a bit of time to process and then re-engage with this revolutionary idea next Monday nite at the Barnes and Noble in Galleria where Pink will be making an appearance. By then, I hope to have my thoughts sorted out. Will you join me? 7PM. Don’t be late.