With this post I describe some advanced topics to consider for your next Moving Motivator session. 
If you’re not yet familiar with this great game – to discover your (teams) intrinsic motivators – please start with reading Playing Moving Motivators with Teams.

#1 – Leave enough space for reflection and thinking

I highly recommend to provide enough time for everyone to bring the motivators in order and for ranking their current motivation. 
For both phases I provide 15 minutes. It seems to be long but people use this time to really think about their drivers for motivation and why a motivator currently gets a rank (in relation to the other motivators). 
In addition it will help the whole team to understand their team members input because they can really explain in more detail why they haven chosen that order and ranking. And in addition to the individual learning the team learning is a key focus too.
For me an indicator of settlement is that no cards are moving for more than 2 minutes. Usually I ask the group if someone needs more time.
The following picture shows a nice concentration phase where everyone in working on her own. I explicitly ask to focus on your own and try not to watch others. 

Between Phase I and Phase II include a short (15′) break and provide some sweets or snacks.

#2 – Make it a team event

Let everyone really explain their order and invite every team member to visit the presenter. 
Don’t hesitate to ask questions to clarify misunderstandings. It’s a high value time as everyone will learn a lot from their team mates. Closes everyones overview with a remarkable THANK YOU <Name> and initiate an applause by every team member.
As the game moderator try to get in the background and let the team members update each other. I usually take a place behind the group and change my position as soon as someone starts talking to me.
Look at this group – highly engaged watching and listening to one team members explanation. Let them get up – energize it and honor everyones presentation by the teams visit. (By the way – do you see the time timer … defensive self correcting help to stay focussed 😉

#3 – Data processing

Ask everyone in the beginning to put a Sticky Note with the name on top of the playing area. 
After Part I and II – I take photos for later documentation. I does not disturb the flow if I take the pictures during the presentation between the team members.
This way you can easily recover to whom the data belongs when you enter it in the teams moving motivator sheet.

#4 – Plan cross connection and include hierarchy if possible

The answer for the question whether hierarchy should join the session is depending on the relationship between team and boss. 
If they seem to have a trustworthy relationship I highly recommend including hierarchy as they really learn a lot from each other. It can remove barriers and leads to a common understanding.
But beware of having hierarchy involved when fights and distrust are the daily routine. For sure the whole session will be done with hidden agendas and highly faked results.
It’s a great idea to include your product owners and people working closely together with the team. As it’s connecting people for sure it will help to involve their perspective too.

#5 – Plan time for reflection after conducting the game

Last session I noticed the importance of having room for a group reflection of their exercise. 
I planned 30′ and asked the group what they observed during the game. It was really inspiring and interesting both for the team and me. It approved that the time investment for Phase I + II was worth it.

Some observations

  • Great to get to know more about our boss and his motivation and current problems
  • I like the input from privat areas
  • We got honest answers in our team – and it showed me that we trust each other
  • The fine grained overview of my motivators was helpful (not just asking – are you ok?)
  • Often we had 2-3 priority points – were most of the details and output was given
  • Great to have defined categories – shows what kind of motivational areas to consider
  • Interesting bandwidth of motivations in our team
  • Great method – brought some deeper insights
  • Entertaining – all have been really present
  • Structure was helpful – we should now focus on asking the question how we can improve our motivation
  • Categories and level balanced (not to private)
  • Some motivators seem to be similar

What’s next

As the facilitator avoid the temptation to answer on the question – what to do with the results. I know it’s a challenge 😉 But let the group find their answers. 
Easiest done by asking – what do you think could be next steps? It’s amazing how many suggestions (their suggestions) the group will find.

#6 – Some motivators interpreted

For some of the motivators I think that the picture and text don’t match and can be confusing (but complaining is easy – I just don’t have better ones yet). Maybe some of my interpretation help or at start some controversy discussions.
A short reminder:


At least in Germany we do not talk about values that often. It helps to check for some examples beforehand. Googling I found e.g.

Equal rights, freedom, security, solidarity, happiness, truth, fairness, humanity, animal protection, human dignity, environment protection, tolerance, punctuality, sparingness, reliability, incorruptibility, diligence, modesty, sense of duty, …

Power and Freedom

Freedom is about independence of my work from others. It overlaps with power but freedom has the focus on independency.

You can demotivate someone (if freedom is her important motivator) if you do everything as the whole team (every meeting, coding, lunch,…).

Power is more about being able to change and finish something. Am I trusted and empowered to take responsibility and finish it. Or is there an endless hierarchy layer and no trust in my ability to decide.

You demotivate people with power as their high priority motivator if there are too many handovers/gates and invisible fences that hinder a pragmatic and less administrative decision path.

Curiosity and Mastery

Curiosity is about discovery and investigation of new things. Try some new technologies and frameworks. Get some cool hardware. Work with newest versions.
Mastery is more about the challenge behind your tasks. Is your brain consumption stimulating or is it just boring and repetitive. You can have highly challenging topics without using the newest technology and you can work with curious new cool features without being really challenged.


It’s not just about company goals. It’s about your personal goals – including your private environment – and how they are reflected in your working environment.
What about you? Did you use Moving Motivators already and can you add more insights? 

Do you have a different understanding of the motivators? Thanks for your comment 😉

Further readings

Playing Moving Motivators with Teams
Champfrogs management 3.0 workout
Moving Motivators