The difference between doing something and doing something well is often down to a peculiar human quality called motivation. Sometimes it actually influences whether or not we do something at all, and for teams, projects and organisations it can be nothing less than the breakpoint between success and failure. But what is it? What is this hidden energy and how does it work? And, more specifically, how does it work and manifest itself in the context of Higher Education?
This puzzle of positive motivation and human energy lies at the heart of engagement. Whether developing a new teaching programme, assembling a research group or working across the institution to implement a new system, structure or way of working, the elusive question that we all tussle with is ‘how do we get people engaged?’ And this challenge extends right across the academy from students to external stakeholders, and is equally vexing for both academic and professional colleagues. Part of the puzzle is that the more discretionary the task or undertaking is perceived to be, the more significant the challenge of motivation and engagement becomes. Like the classic strategic learner, unless persuaded otherwise people will often invest their energy where they feel they will get the highest return.
Exploring these questions will be the focus of this one-day event. We will survey our own motivations, share insights, hear from experienced colleagues contrasting stories of motivation and engagement, consider the facets of Higher Education, ancient and modern, that influence how motivation works, review some established and emerging thinking, play with giant carrots, and work together creatively to develop our own models of motivation to help unlock this vexing puzzle.
Ahead of this event, read 'How do we get people engaged'.