Motivational Maps – the book

December 17, 2015

James book signing

Having received our advanced copies of ‘Mapping Motivation’ by James Sale, the creator of Motivational Maps, we rushed over to get them all signed.

The first book is being sent straight to our clients at the John Lewis Partnership, as thanks for their permission to use our work with them as a case-study for the book.  This provides a real and powerful example of how Motivational Maps helped support growth and change within the Partnership.  The other case study in the book is with that equally wonderful and long-lasting organisation – the Ordnance Survey.

What inspired James to write the book?

“My product, The Motivational Map, has been around since 2006, and I was developing it for at least five years before then.  Currently, we have over 240 licensees in 14 countries – we are scratching the surface of what we and the product could potentially do.

Developing ideas for it really go back to 1995 when I left education and struck out on my own as a coach and trainer. I studied in the evenings at Bournemouth University and achieved a postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies (with Distinction) and so began a journey of learning: reading all I could, practising what I had learnt, finding masters and gurus who could show me more and emulating them where it fitted my style (and maybe sometimes when it didn’t!), and going on as many courses as I could to pack my mind with knowledge and skills that I could deploy. And over that time as we move towards 2006 and the launch of Motivational Maps I found increasingly that not only was I absorbing ideas from everywhere, especially America, the home really of personal development, but I was changing and transforming them.

In short, Motivational Maps became not just a diagnostic tool, but around it I produced a whole load of intellectual property that was original and different: the tool kit that makes up the primary equipment of licensees of Motivational Maps.

These ideas are so powerful and useful that it would be wrong to keep them tightly under wraps within the Motivational Maps system itself. On the contrary, they need to come out into the fresh air, be exposed to scrutiny, and given their strength, be used and adopted by people way beyond the Motivational Maps’ community. I see myself the personality tests as Generation 1 of the diagnostic tools; the psychometrics as Generation 2; and of course the needs of the twenty-first century are different again, and so Motivational Maps are Generation 3 – they fit in with the new ethos of the new century, and in this in two important ways.

  • First, the realisation that engagement is critical to organisational productivity, and that motivation is core to engagement.
  • Second, and even more widely, the growing understanding, as for example demonstrated in Professor Gary Hamel’s brilliant book, The Future of Management, that top-down management, command and control, just doesn’t cut it anymore. We need a bottom-up approach and that is exactly what the most successful organisations have. And that is exactly what Motivational Maps makes possible: the Maps can only work with a bottom-up approach. Scary, or what? Yes, and deeply empowering too.

So if you want to find out what this is all about then take advantage of the 35% discount I can offer you on the price, valid till 31/12/15. Just go to and pre-order your copy now: enter the discount code G15JXH35 to take advantage of your special price. Hope you enjoy the book – be sure to review it, and join the motivation revolution if it’s for you.”


F.A.S.T.E.R Teams – Be ‘Real’

December 11, 2015

Paul Kinvig, Coach and Facilitator at Aspirin Business Solutions

FASTER Real image

In the Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi film “Bladerunner” we are introduced to the idea of replicants – almost perfect recreations of human beings. Interestingly, you can only tell the real from the replicant by asking certain questions…it’s only under “challenging” conditions that they give themselves away. The same is true in the rise of “replica” items…..everything from Rolex watches, Gucci bags to iPhone chargers…..they look like the real thing and yet either don’t last or breakdown under usage, sometimes with dangerous consequences.

“Real” teams, however, have the strength of authenticity about them. They don’t pretend to be who or what they need to be, they ARE who and what they need to be for the situation at hand. They do this because they aware of their own and each others’ REAL motivators, REAL skills & REAL strengths & weaknesses and are comfortable with how that plays out in the workplace.

So what are the key hallmarks of real teams?

Honesty – One of the challenges of leading a real team is that the level of honesty can sometimes be intimidating. Members aren’t just honest about situations/ mistakes/ customer complaints but are honest with each other and their manager about performance. It’s not done in a vindictive or point scoring way but in a way that is bold, constructive, relevant and respectful to the person and situation.

Play – Real teams understand the value of “work & play” – at it’s most obvious level it is the appearance  of humour and the relaxed but focused way the team interacts with each other. However, the other part of “play”, as Pat Kane eruditely expresses, is this – “The play ethic is about having the confidence to be spontaneous, creative and empathetic across every area of your life – in relationships, in the community, in your cultural life, as well as paid employment.” It’s not idle, wasteful or frivolous but allows the individual personalities of the team to shine and be appreciated – and out of that can come some real ideas for improvement.

Trust – Real teams build trust by members being authentic and really understanding who they are! The phrase “walk it like they talk it” is truly indicative of their behaviour and thus there isn’t any gap between what they say & how they behave.  Teams with high trust levels often have a high degree of emotional intelligence which means that:

  1. They can “spot” when things aren’t right with other team members or situations much more quickly than most other groups.
  1. They can “sense” when a change in approach to people or customers is needed much more quickly than most other groups

It also means that can decide, act and adjust much more quickly because they function like a single organism.

When teams become “real” it’s like the final turn of lens on a camera that brings the sharp clarity needed to take a great picture….which of course brings us back full circle to our F in F.A.S.T.E.R, that of focus. And here’s the key…..great leaders & managers know having F.A.S.T.E.R teams is a continuous circle of development – Focus, Agile, Strong, Tenacious, Empowered & Real – and it’s the REAL nature of teams that separates them from the “replicants”….especially under pressure or challenging circumstances

Here at Aspirin Business Solutions we help our clients create & develop “real” teams by helping them understand their real motivators, personality, behaviours and mindset, e.g. through Motivational Map profiles. We then coach them to be authentic to who they are and each other and not to see their motivators or personality traits as right or wrong but as strengths which can be combined & focused to achieve the business strategy. Worth us having a conversation?