Moving Motivators promoting self-knowledge and empathy

Leonor Bonets
8 min readAug 9, 2020

Learn about this self-knowledge tool, personal retrospective and management of professional expectations and motivations.

I took Management 3.0’s Foundation training in 2019 and Moving Motivators was the practice that enchanted me the most. I left the last training session determined to put it into practice.

What motivated me to make that decision?

I realized we had an inefficient strategy to generate motivation and engagement among the team, that most people did not have the sense of owning the product and had no desire to achieve goals even when we established awards for it. The team was working for their wages and that was it. At other times this would be completely normal, but things don’t tend to be like that anymore.

We all have extrinsic and intrinsic motivations.

Extrinsic motivations are those related to rewards, usually financial, such as a bonus, a promotion, or some award.

Intrinsic motivations are those that flow naturally from the person and impel her to do something well. These are the desires that need to be fulfilled to generate satisfaction with the work done.

I realized that the team focus was only on extrinsic motivations and that tables would need to be turned.

Management 3.0 applies the CHAMPFROGS model to address motivation in the context of work-life. The model consists of ten motivators that are either intrinsic, extrinsic, or a bit of both.


Once I understood that, the next step was to understand what each of the motivational factors was in order to feel safe when explaining them to the team.

Starting preparations!

  1. I requested the cards (in Brazilian Portuguese) on the official Management 3.0 website:

2. I printed a set of cards for each team member. The set presentation was something I wanted to do very well so I printed them on thicker paper and placed each set in a bag so that it could be stored and reused;

3. I let the Scrum Master know I would use 1 hour of sprint retrospective to do this game.

Since the majority of the team hates meetings I feared that the game would not be well received. That challenged me to make it useful for everyone! I no longer wanted to know just what motivated them, but I wanted everyone to take a break to self-analyze in the professional field to focus on what was good for them, what moved them forward.

How the game went

  1. No one had had contact with the game before, so I took the first 15 minutes to explain intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors and then showed and explained each of the ten CHAMPFROGS factors;

2. I explained that there was no right or wrong, better or worse, motivator and that they vary according to our present moment;

3. I contextualized that the choice of cards should be made exclusively taking into consideration the professional life;

4. I handed each one a set of cards and the fact that they looked beautiful worked as an ice breaker and helped to tear down any resistance that I might have at that moment;

5. I asked them to do a self-analysis and rank the 10 cards from the most to the least relevant, placing them from left to right on the table (10 minutes);

6. After everyone finished the ranking, I split them into pairs and asked them to share the three factors that motivate them the most and the three that motivate them the least with each other (15 minutes);

7. I opened the last 20 minutes of the meeting for general discussion, without forcing anyone to participate and the result was very positive:

  • Everyone ended up participating in the conversation, which was a great Team Building strategy;
  • We noticed similarities in the motivating factors according to each one’s profile, for instance: the CURIOSITY factor was unanimous among the developers and the three women in the room had the same three less important factors.

How the second round of Moving Motivators went

I decided to run another Moving Motivators session one month later before taking any action:

  • I asked everyone to do their own self-analysis and place the cards in order again;
  • I projected each one’s top three motivators from the previous month on a TV;
  • I asked them to check if they had changed since the first session and then comment on it.

It was a very open conversation in which everyone was comfortable sharing their feelings about the motivators. I heard very important scores, such as: “My motivation is to have work to do, I don’t like being without work”, “Last month I said that FREEDOM motivated me, but as it is not possible to have it in this company, I didn’t even prioritize it this month”.

At that moment, I put myself in his shoes and realized that as a developer he did not have the freedom I had as a PO, and freedom was his main motivating factor.


Because of the conversations that flowed from the Moving Motivators sessions it was possible to identify that:

  • CURIOSITY and FREEDOM were ranked high as motivational factors but currently low within the team because they did not have the freedom to be creative, which caused a lack of engagement;
  • The ORDER factor was a priority for the QA but the least priority factor for the rest of the team;
  • The shyest person on the team was more participative;
  • A new, more united team was beginning to emerge.

“Technically we cannot make people feel motivated or engaged, but we can certainly set up the right conditions that will maximize the probability that it will happen (even though success is never certain).” — Management 3.0

Action plan

Based on the results, I was able to put the following improvements in place with the team:

  • For the process-motivated QA (ORDER factor), we defined an OKR for improving delivery quality in which he was the Key Results’ owner; We established rules and a flow for bug reporting;
  • We assigned the developers to work with new technologies (CURIOSITY factor);
  • For the FREEDOM as well as for the CURIOSITY factor, I was able to negotiate the creation of an Exploration Sprint with leadership, which aims to leave the development team free for a sprint to do whatever they want, as long as they present the outcome after the sprint, for instance: performing a refactoring, cleaning up a bug log, doing a POC on new technology, developers switching technologies, in short, they would have complete freedom to create.

Moving Motivators in times of working full-time from home

I decided to write an addendum showing how I did Moving Motivators during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the whole team working full-time from home.


  • I asked everyone to download the “Cards M3.0” app;
Cards M3.0 main menu
  • I set up a Miro board and worked hard to make it look very nice (something I am dedicating myself to in online meetings). Instead of putting each one’s picture, I put a drawing made by one of the team members;
  • I put the set of 10 cards in no specific order:
Miro’s board
  • A few days before the game, I explained what Moving Motivators were and what each card meant to the new team members;
  • One day before the game I asked everyone to do their self-analysis and place the cards in order of priority using the “Cards M3.0” app;

I set one hour aside for the actual game, so I made sure I did as much as possible in advance in order to save us time.

Online dynamics

I asked everyone to open Miro and place the cards in order as they had done in the app.

Then I asked them to evaluate each card in their current context within the company and asked them to put the motivators that were being met and the ones that were not down.

After everyone finished, each one shared their three main motivators explaining why they were their main motivators and whether they were being met within the company or not.


The online game flowed as well or even better than the live one, I felt that the focus was greater. On the one hand, it was possible to identify an improvement in some participants’ motivation, compared to the last Moving Motivators session, on the other hand, we had some people whose main motivators’ cards were not being met. This is the most interesting part of this tool in my point of view as it allows us to see through people and identify:

  • What should be done to motivate someone who is unmotivated;
  • What we should continue to do;
  • What we shouldn’t do.

Moving Motivators is as important as the sprint retrospective and allows us to outline an action plan more focused on motivation and engagement.

I like to apply Happiness Door at the end of meetings, as a tool for continuous improvement, and the outcome was very positive! I even saw the meeting’s negative point as something positive: they wanted to talk about all cards.

Moving Motivator’s happiness door


:-) I liked that

:-|This needs to improve

:-( I didn’t like that

Lessons learned

To set at least 2 hours aside for the next Moving Motivators session and let everyone talk about all the cards.

Due to the company’s culture, outsourced professionals don’t receive feedback from the immediate leader and the whole squad is outsourced, so this is the team’s only feedback and people management tool.

Because of that, we decided to play this game more frequently (we didn’t play for 9 months). The team suggested to play every month, but it didn’t work. It was hard to find an agenda without jeopardizing sprint deliveries. The new target is to play once every 3 months. In times where we lack and miss physical interaction (we’re all working from home for at least 6 months) the need for such an activity is greater and necessary to establish and maintain closer links.

Although the virtual game flowed very well, talkin to someone face to face, in person, is a different experience. Virtually you can’t see non-verbal signs such as facial expressions, physical indications and body language. Who knows next time I can get everyone to open the webcam? =D