Silver Pens and Motivation

At the conclusion of PriSim’s business simulation exercises, we recognize the winners of the competition with a prize. Our trophy of choice for the winning team is an inexpensive solid silver magic levitating pen. But is this simple prize what motivates participants to stay focused over multiple days of number crunching, lectures, decision making, and strategy-setting?

Not really. In his book “Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us”, Daniel Pink proposes that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are the three key intrinsic motivators that drive us.

Intrinsic Motivators Definition Business Simulation Dynamics
Autonomy The desire to direct our own lives Decision making, goal setting, strategy execution
Mastery The urge to improve at something that matters Increase financial and business acumen
Purpose The desire to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves Discover how to improve business performance

Participant engagement is the result of these three elements being present at a business simulation exercise. The public reward is just a reminder of their attainment. A symbol that they now belong to a special high-performing group within their organization.