Motivation vs. Inspiration

The 2011 SHSMD annual conference kicked off on Wednesday with a great lineup and a lot of excitement amongst the capacity crowd.

The theme this year is “Connections,” but the opening keynote by Dr. Lance Secretan, a former Fortune 100 CEO and accomplished author and speaker, was all about inspiration.  I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Secretan, but there were many things from his presentation that I find myself unable to get behind.

Dr. Secretan explained the differences between motivation and inspiration.  Inspiration, he explains, is the process of lighting a fire within someone.  Motivation, in contrast, is all about lighting a fire under someone and is fundamentally about fear.

Right off the bat, I’m forced to disagree.  Motivation, in my eyes, is incenting people to do something or act in a particular way.  There are many ways to motivate.  Fear is certainly one way.  Money and other forms of rewards is another.

Inspiration is just another form of motivation.  I agree that igniting an individual’s passion and engaging them in efforts with a larger purpose can be, perhaps, the one of the most effective ways to motivate a person to action.

Motivation is not, however, synonymous with fear.  Fear can be a powerful source of motivation, but it’s also the most destructive.

This is an important distinction.  Marketing is about motivation.  It is not, typically, about fear.  It is also not about lying when done ethically. Both statements made by Dr. Secretan.

SHSMD’s membership consists of marketers, communicators and strategy professionals.  We’re passionate about improving healthcare, communicating with patients and consumers and making our communities healthier.

Motivation isn’t so simple, though. This is the topic of Thursday’s opening keynote by Daniel Pink – a blog post on that coming soon.

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This entry was posted in Consumer Expectations, Tradeshow/Conference by Ben Dillon. Bookmark the permalink.
Ben Dillon

About Ben Dillon

Ben’s a big picture type of guy. He loves sharing new ideas in digital marketing, keeping a watchful eye on healthcare industry trends and seeing how it all intersects. A sought-after speaker, writer, blogger and current SHSMD board member, Ben’s an influential voice in healthcare marketing, helping organizations across the country embrace online strategies to engage health consumers. Combine his industry savvy with his background in software development and you can see why he’s also an important member of Geonetric’s software team, ensuring our content management system stays a step ahead of market needs. Ben holds a master’s degree in eBusiness and strategic management from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan. When he’s not traveling and evangelizing, Ben enjoys cooking with his family and playing the Big House with the University of Michigan Alumni marching band.

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