Motivation as a desire to achieve a goal


Motivation is one of the most important keys to success. When there is lack of motivation you either get no results, or only mediocre results, whereas when there is motivation you attain greater and better results and achievements.

Motivation is the key to performance improvement

There is an old saying you can take a horse to the water but you cannot force it to drink; it will drink only if it's thirsty - so with people. They will do what they want to do or otherwise motivated to do. Whether it is to excel on the workshop floor or in the 'ivory tower' they must be motivated or driven to it, either by themselves or through external stimulus.

Are they born with the self-motivation or drive? Yes and no. If no, they can be motivated, for motivation is a skill which can and must be learnt. This is essential for any business to survive and succeed.

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Performance is considered to be a function of ability and motivation, thus:

Ability in turn depends on education, experience and training and its improvement is a slow and long process. On the other hand motivation can be improved quickly. There are many options and an uninitiated manager may not even know where to start. As a guideline, there are broadly seven strategies for motivation.

(1)Achievement Motivation.

(2)Affiliation Motivation

(3)Competence Motivation

(4)Power Motivation

(5)Attitude Motivation

(6)Incentive Motivation

(7)Fear Motivation.

These are the basic strategies, though the mix in the final 'recipe' will vary from workplace situation to situation. Essentially, there is a gap between an individuals actual state and some desired state and the manager tries to reduce this gap.

Motivation is, in effect, a means to reduce and manipulate this gap. It is inducing others in a specific way towards goals specifically stated by the motivator. Naturally, these goals as also the motivation system must conform to the corporate policy of the organization. The motivational system must be tailored to the situation and to the organization.

(1) Achievement Motivation

It is the drive to pursue and attain goals. An individual with achievement motivation wishes to achieve objectives and advance up on the ladder of success. Here, accomplishment is important for its own shake and not for the rewards that accompany it. It is similar to 'Kaizen' approach of Japanese Management.

(2) Affiliation Motivation

It is a drive to relate to people on a social basis. Persons with affiliation motivation perform work better when they are complimented for their favorable attitudes and co-operation.

(3) Competence Motivation

It is the drive to be good at something, allowing the individual to perform high quality work. Competence motivated people seek job mastery, take pride in developing and using their problem-solving skills and strive to be creative when confronted with obstacles. They learn from their experience.

(4) Power Motivation

It is the drive to influence people and change situations. Power motivated people wish to create an impact on their organization and are willing to take risks to do so.

(5) Attitude Motivation

Attitude motivation is how people think and feel. It is their self confidence, their belief in themselves, their attitude to life. It is how they feel about the future and how they react to the past.

(6) Incentive Motivation

It is where a person or a team reaps a reward from an activity. It is "You do this and you get that", attitude. It is the types of awards and prizes that drive people to work a little harder.

(7) Fear Motivation

Fear motivation coercions a person to act against will. It is instantaneous and gets the job done quickly. It is helpful in the short run.

A manager should have the right motivational qualities which may include organizational, communication and political or social skills with employees to better improve productivity and less cost. The benefits of using them have been enjoyed by successful companies, including CANON. Resolving the issue in the company can be done through properly assessing the competencies of the leaders who will be assigned to manage the organization. Having good motivational skills as a boss creates a productive workplace.

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The job of a manager in the workplace is to get things done through employees. To do this the manager should be able to motivate employees. But that's easier said than done! Motivation practice and theory are difficult subjects, touching on several disciplines.

In spite of enormous research, basic as well as applied, the subject of motivation is not clearly understood and more often than not poorly practised. To understand motivation one must understand human nature itself. And there lies the problem!

Human nature can be very simple, yet very complex too. An understanding and appreciation of this is a prerequisite to effective employee motivation in the workplace and therefore effective management.


The Objectives of CPS

The objectives of Canon Production System (CPS) are to manufacture better quality products at lower cost and deliver them faster. Reflecting rigorous organization (5Ss, Kaizen, TPM,...), the CPS aims at bringing about constant improvements in performance and has provided the spring-board for Canon.

One of the theories followed by Canon:

Award System

Canon employees are offering around 50 improvement ideas per year per employee.

Canon provides awards for individuals, small groups and workshop units. These awards are intended to show management's appreciation for the efforts and the results.

A unique feature of Canon's suggestion system is the lifetime cumulative award system. Each suggestion is given a certain number of points, and every year President's Awards are given to the 20 people who have accumulated the most points since the system's inception. Each recipient receives a certain amount of money and a gold medal.

Since this can get a bit repetitious, there are also Presidential Awards for the most points in a given year, the top 30 people receiving a smaller amount of money and silver medals.

The list of Annual Awards provided at Canon includes: Model Workshop Award, Runner-up Model Workshop Award, Award for Eliminating 9 Wastes, CPS Performance Award, Excellent Small-Group Activities Award, Cumulative-Point Presidential Award, Annual-Points Presidential Award, Special Presidential Award.

Canon gives also Gold, Silver, and Special awards to their suppliers that have built promising systems for Quality, Cost, and Delivery.

Waste Categories and 9 Wastes To Be Eliminated

Work-in-process. Stocking items not immediately needed

Quality. Producing defective products.

Facilities. Having idle machinery and breakdowns, taking too long for setup.

Expenses. Overinvesting for required output.

Indirect labor. Excess personnel due to bad indirect labor system.

Talent. Employing people for jobs that can be mechanized or assigned to less skilled people.

Motion. Not working according to the best work standards.

Product Design. Producing products with more functions than necessary.

New-product run-up. Making a slow start in stabilizing the production of a new product.

6 Guidelines of the Canon's Suggestion System

Always show a positive response to suggestions for improvement.

Help workers to write easily and give them helpful suggestions about their work.

Try to identify even the slightest inconvenience for the workers. (This requires very good superior-subordinate communication.)

Make the target very clear. Example: How many suggestions do we need this month? Which area (quality, delivery, manpower, etc.) do we need to work on now?

Use competition and games to arouse interest, such as displaying individual achievement charts.

Implement accepted suggestions as soon as possible. Give awards before payday.


Motivation is not only in a single direction i.e. downwards. In the present scenario, where the workforce is more informed, more aware, more educated and more goal oriented, the role of motivation has left the boundries of the hierarchy of management. Apart from superior motivating a subordinate, encouragement and support to colleague as well as helpful suggestions on the right time, even to the superior, brings about a rapport at various work levels. Besides, where workforce is self motivated, just the acknowledgement of the same makes people feel important and wanted.


Motivation cannot be called a myth. It has to be given the importance of a managerial concept and a core managerial tool. It has to be treated as a philosophy that can propel organizations ahead through effective communication and motivation. Good governance alone cannot help manage organizations or groups as it cannot succeed in motivating as well as effective communication. Good governance alone cannot help create synergies in teams as it deals with just getting the work done through delegation. It does manage to get the work done but does not help getting the work done effectively. So motivation can be considered superior to governance. It can be considered to include governance. Motivation supersedes good governance and is also to be considered as essential for efficient management. Managers have to use different types of motivational theories at different times depending on the situations.

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