“Dispirited, unmotivated, unappreciated workers cannot compete in a highly competitive world.” – Francis Hesselbein

In past decades management experts tried to determine what kind of management style that would motivate employees to perform at their highest potential. From early "time and motion studies, to later social factors approaches, management theory evolved through out the early part of the twentieth century but largely become a dichotomy between two competing views of management.

Douglas McGregor, through his “Theory X and Theory Y,” demonstrated the distinction between to assumptions about human motivation:

  • Theory X assumes that people dislike work and must be coerced, controlled, and directed toward goals. People are assumed to prefer to be treated this way, so they can avoid responsibility. 
  • Theory Y emphasizes the average person’s intrinsic interest in his work. This view assumes employees have a  desire to be self-directing and to seek responsibility, and his capacity to be creative in solving business problems.

However, further research on McGregor's ideas indicated that motivation is not as simple as McGregor theorized. 

Researchers today, focus on a wholly different set of assumptions, namely:

1. Human beings bring varying patterns of needs and motives into the work organization, but one central need is to achieve a sense of competence.

2. Competence needs may be fulfilled in different ways by different people and the their competance needs in their work tasks are influenced by other needs—such as those for power, independence, structure, achievement, and affiliation.

3. Competence motivation is most likely to be fulfilled when there is a fit between task and organization.

4. Sense of competence continues to motivate even when a competence goal is achieved; once one goal is reached, a new, higher one is set.

It is often the "fit" of the individual to the managerial style of organizational tasks and culture that are predictive of high performance. this is a highly individualized and complex interaction.

From a small start-up organization to a large corporation, transformational leadership is dependent upon understanding the human side of motivation. 

From its very beginning, HSC has worked to help organizations and businesses in understanding and maximizing the talents and abilities of their employees by creating effective systems.  HSC's first consulting work, from 1998 to 2002, was with an international manufacturing firm who was struggling with some employee satisfaction and organizational issues.  But the core of HSC's work has been with family or privately owned businesses and organizations.  The consistent thread running through the consulting we do is that these businesses have some human need that HSC helps them map, analyze, and address.