Motivation Story about losing $100 or winning $100

Yesterday, I finished crafting a Narrative for a Life Sciences organisation on Digital Transformation.

Of course, I don’t work in the Life Sciences industry but I know how best to elicit information, shape a story and impart the storytelling skills to leaders of the organisation who need to manage this change.

Whilst I was developing the Narrative, it was evident to me that my key source of information, a very senior leader was crystal clear on what they were going  to do in the years to come to ensure the company’s vision becomes reality.

He is a perfect example of a visionary leader who sets the vision and drives the agenda forward. As a result the bright future is so clear in his head but there is a problem with a heavy future approach. A good story which can motivate people is not just about the future but also requires us to shed light in the past.

1n 1979, Nobel Memorial Prize winner Daniel Kahneman published a theory about why people make certain buying decision. Prospect Theory, as it was called, espoused that people are more likely to be dissatisfied with a loss than they are satisfied with a gain. In other words, people hate losing $100 more than they like winning $100. 

There is a lesson for a modern corporate leader here who is announcing change in an organisation almost everyday.

Most likely you shared a clear bright future story with many benefits attached to it yet witnessed no motivation for implementation. The reason why this happens is because we forget to answer simple question : What broke down that led us to have this vision? 

We forget a simple fact, people are more motivated to make a change to avoid loss than they are to achieve a gain. So look back because if nothing broke, there will be no need to fix.

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