It's summer in BC and we hope you're enjoying the warmer weather. Hope you can join us for the upcoming dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel. We are thrilled to have Casey as our speaker. He will discuss how to build intrinsic motivation within your team and why it's important. This might just be the extra special oomph your team needs!


Q&A with Casey Miller

How do you define the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation?

Since the dawn of capitalism, employers have used external based incentives, such as financial rewards, to motivate employees. The problem is that these external motivators only work for repetitive, non-cognitive based jobs. Most, if not all, jobs of the 21st century are not repetitive and depend of creative, cognitive-based solutions. These types of jobs, behavioral scientists have shown, require a different type of incentive which can only come from within. To foster this intrinsic motivation, employers should aim at cultivating shared purpose, relatedness and trust amongst their employees, as well as fostering opportunities for them to master their skills. These are the ingredients of internal motivation.


What is the biggest challenge you face as a cultural strategist?

Its easy to throw a financial reward at employees and hope that they get engaged. And that's what most employers do. Much harder -- and indeed, they only stuff that sticks -- is the time and behavioral investment in the softer skills that intrinsic motivation demands.


What are your thoughts on group norms? What norms do you see as vital to success?

Group norms really speak to how psychologically safe its team members feel with one another. And that safety has been proven by an uncountable number of social scientists to be the key to high performing teams. In laymen's terms, if you want a team to work well together, they must feel safe enough to take risks, offer opinions, and offer feedback without fear of being shamed, mocked, ridiculed, or minimized. To do this, teams must be highly adept at reading body language, and most importantly, responding to each other with empathy. These are soft skills and represented by one's emotional intelligence. The great news is, though, that unlike intellect and personality, emotional intelligence can be learned.


From your point of view how is trust and a sense of community created in a workplace?

Most people think trust is created by the level of one's reliability and credibility. As it turns out, the biggest components are intimacy and self-orientation (how much others think that your priority is them, not you). Like emotional intelligence, these two pieces can be learned and improved.


What one book has inspired you or one that you have recommended most?

Living Like Weasels, Annie Dillard.


Do you have any particular morning routines?

None that particularly inspire. I am trying to lure birds to my balcony in the West End, though. So far I have been marginally successful.


Thank you Casey for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to get to know you better! We are looking forward your presentation and learning more about high performing teams.

For anyone that is interested in learning more about the event How to Create an Intrinsically Motivated Team: The Key to High Performance Teams or to register please click below.