Written by Valentina Voronova
Marketing and Sales Manager at Data Prisma Oy
VP of Communications
MPI Finland Chapter
This year the leaders of European MPI Chapters gathered together in Granada, Spain to explore motivation. We were not exploring it just by ourselves. Sean Blair (LinkedIn), a professional facilitator, was helping us to explore the subject.
At 8:30 AM, on Saturday, 4th of March we gathered at the meeting room to discuss motivation, especially focusing on finding out what were our reasons to become volunteers and what drives us to be a part of MPI family. The weather outside was rainy and cloudy, so the Finnish Chapter team immediately felt like home.
At first, Sean taught us a bit of theory and explained that motivation can be extrinsic and intrinsic. The extrinsic motivation is guided by fear of punishment or/and desire to achieve a reward. The intrinsic motivation is driven by the desire to participate in an activity for its own sake, just because you like to do it and feel passionate about it. As an example we used sports and hobbies that people truly enjoy doing.
In order to understand what motivates us as volunteers we completed several tasks. One of them was to write on a piece of paper own reasons of being a part of an MPI Chapter Board. Here are some examples of what was written by the participants of the EBCS:
As we later discussed with Sean Blair, these reasons were a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. It was interesting to see that most of us wrote the same reasons. Networking, doing business and growing as a professional in an international community are the main factors that drive European volunteer board members. This knowledge will help us to involve new members and keep own drive up and running.
Motivation is an abstract concept and in order to simplify its analysis we used the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology. At first, we were divided into several groups and were asked to construct a tower. Each participant had his own idea of a tower and each construction was unique.
Did you know that six standard LEGO bricks make 915,103,765 combinations? Source That is a very big number and it allows us being creative in our LEGO ideas.
Next we explored our own motivation by creating a LEGO construction that represented ourselves at our best. Finally, we teamed with our own chapter members and constructed a model of an action plan for our chapter. Here is what team Finland created:
This model has a knowledgebase with best ideas, amazing events to help our members to grow and working communication to spread the word around.
Joining ECBS is a wonderful opportunity that MPI Global offers for three board members in each European chapter. This is a great moment to learn what the other chapters are doing. We get inspired by each other and we also find comfort from each other. Sometimes we start common projects together. It is a great forum,that by itself creates motivation and inspiration. For me Granada was bitter-sweet experience. It was my last summit but it gave me tools to get the best out of our coming board and to “make our chapter great again”. The friendships with the European colleagues remain as we will meet face-to-face at EMEC. Paula Blomster
On the next morning we met at 9 AM. Some of us were still a bit sleepy, others were well awaken. To energize each other we passed a microphone in a round and shared how we felt. By the end of the round the room was filled with energy and we were ready to start.
Sunday was a day of action planning. What can make planning more effective? Thick pens, a canvas and a group of enthusiasts. Our action plan has several areas: Members, Education, PR and Finance. We set up objectives, goals and metrics. When all chapters were ready, each presented their own plan. That was a crucial part of the workshop, as we heard many great ideas and practices that can be used to make our chapter better and provide our members with useful events.
Now, when our team (Paula Blomster, Mervi Pirilä and Valentina Voronova) is back to Finland, we are looking forward to implementing the action plan into reality. I am not going to disclose all the actions here, but there will be more networking and interactivity in our events!