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Performance vs Motivation

By November 10, 2015No Comments

Performance is a function of motivation, skills and situational factors. Depending on the organisation type, different performance factors matter most. In case of projects characterised by high impact and unpredictability like startups – relation between performance and motivation is especially strong.

Performance = motivation x skills x situational factors

Performance in corporations

In case of well-established businesses, situational factors like resources, support, predictability are not an issue. Growth targets are reasonable, environment is relatively stable, cause-and-effect relationships are pretty well known, internal processes, company policies and career roadmaps defined and clear. You know very well what kind of skills are required to do the job, because the value generation process is well understood and doesn’t change often. In a such situation motivation plays a significant role, however it is not critical to high performance.

Performance in startups

In case of fast-growing organisations, like startups, motivation’s role is much more important due to high unpredictability associated with situational factors and required skillset. Expectations are always high, while resources are scarce and environment keeps changing rapidly. There is a need for a wider range of skills but requirements are not any more exact. The list of what is needed evolves as we identify, validate and reject various opportunities. Only high motivation can counterbalance the unavoidable problems with quickly changing situational factors and required skills.

Performance in corporations and startups

Performance and motivation – summary

Thanks to high motivation, your team members are able to stay creative, work under pressure and do not give up dealing with failures and inadequate resources. They are able to develop necessary skills on the go. In startups it is the most essential factor behind performance.


Originally shared on Wojtek Skalski blog.

Oleksiy Kuryliak

Founder of Rioks. Marketing Strategist & Auditor. Advising startups and enterprises on digital transformation, marketing operations and go-to-market strategies.

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