After my recent posts about Us-and-Themness, I got into an interesting online discussion with a music educator and barbershopper in Canada called J. R. Digger MacDougall (see some of his activities here and here) who shared the concepts he uses to analyse people’s motivations to join and then stay with an organisation. They intersect in some ways with the ideas from Maslow I have been writing about this year, but they slice through the conceptual plane at a somewhat different angle, and I thought that readers who weren’t in that particular group might enjoy mulling over them too.
He presented the concepts as four ‘pillars’, which is itself an apt metaphor to think of the support an organisation gives its members. If all four are in place, their commitment will be solid; if one is shaky or absent, it may continue, but will be more precarious; lose two and the whole shebang will collapse. And each of the four pillars has that useful quality that it presents some immediately practical considerations for an organisation to engage with; you can generate a to-do list from them quite readily.