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7 October 2014

Transcendent Purpose

You probably know the "What Motivates Us" video; Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

In the engineering team we work hard on building on an existing culture of autonomy and mastery. Great people are given the latitude to tackle interesting challenges the way they feel is best. We have an egalitarian culture where everyone is encouraged to challenge the status quo and push for what they think this the best way forward. We support team members with training opportunities, on the job coaching, conferences, regular actives like retrospectives and the engineering debrief.

Photo by Tim Norris from Flickr

The product management team can help elevate engagement and, motivation even further, by helping explain the big fucking deal that is our business proposition.

Of course everyone buys into this, but are challenged by the how. Where do I get the right stories? What are the right stories? How and when should I share them?


This academic paper on transcendent purpose is great as it gives a background to why thinking about the big picture is useful. It also gives lots of examples of how different stories and different ways of thinking about sometimes boring) work can be elevated in a way that makes us motivated and engaged in the work in front of us.