The world is constantly changing and is doing so rapidly – new technologies, global connection, globalization and digitalization affect our work life and day-to-day. This lets our opportunities and chances grow, while changing the challenges we have to face.

 “Everything changes and nothing stands still.“

    – Heraklit von Ephesus

 In the past five years, the greatest challenges the middle class has had to face were declining markets and the disappearance of large-scale consumers. Contrary to these happenings stand strategical and disruptive topics: the development of new market segments, new market competitors and above all the radical change of key technologies. Many business models are therefore facing a pressure do adapt. [1]

In order to shape an enterprise for the future and overcome the respective change processes, one factor plays a major role for failure or success: motivation – the motivation of the management and of the employees.

Prof. Dr. phil. Hugo M. Kehr of the chair of psychology of the Technical University of Munich explains the optimal motivation through his three-component model. The concept, which applies in theory and in practice, links the three factors of motivation: “stomach”, “head” and “hand”. The “stomach” represents emotions, feelings and intuition, “head” symbolizes rational thought, goals, which are of importance to us and “hand” representing capabilities, experience and knowledge. [2]

The three-component model of motivation

In his lecture „Motivate yourself with visions, goals and willpower“ of the TEDxTUM series [3] Prof. Kehr explains that emotions are an essential aspect but often not considered. “We tend to ignore the stomach feeling. That is one of the reasons why managers fail to achieve their goals. That is one of the reasons why enterprises fail in change processes. They ignore the emotional component.” [3] One who does not pour heart into a matter can compensate this void by willpower and motivate oneself to completing a task. However, willpower alone as motivation is not very effective and can be exhausting and a costly resource. [3]

If we consider taking on a task that is important to us and coincides with our capabilities and opportunities, the intrinsic motivation wakes our enthusiasm and as a result we want to conquer and successfully complete the task.

„A true vision has the potential to reach your heart.“

Prof. Dr. Hugo M. Kehr

To create this kind of emotional attachment to a project in an enterprise, an inspirational vision can be helpful. “A true vision has the potential to reach your heart,” [3] Prof. Kehr claims in his talk. How should such a vision be formulated?

In a conversation we had with the professor, he explained: „It should be something that comes from within the organization and possibly through the participation of all.” [4] Including employees of all levels of the hierarchy is especially important. “One does not believe the energy that is set free when a kitchen aid goes back to work, telling, ’you won’t believe it, the board was present the whole afternoon and we talked about our vision.’ This has a huge effect.“ [4]

Additionally, the vision should be associated with imagery. [4] “The better it can be imagined, the easier it is to remember, the more it motivates me, the better I can explain it to others and the easier it is to communicate.” [4]

In order to face the economic challenges of our time, we require organizational and technological change. Devoted and motivated employees, strongly backed up by management, are vital. An inspirational, imaginable vision, lived by the entire organization, can act as an imperative in creating a positive work atmosphere and attitude.

The presentation „Motivate yourself with visions, goals and willpower“ by Prof. Hugo M. Kehr gives interesting insights into the 3K model and can be found on or


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[1] Studie der Unternehmerperspektiven: „Next Generation – Neues Denken für die Wirtschaft“ (2017);

[2] (Stand: 18.06.2017)

[3] TEDxTUM – Event on December 10th, 2016; Lecture by Prof. Hugo Kehr „Motivate yourself with visions, goals and willpower“; (Stand 18.06.2017)

[4] Interview with Prof. Dr. Hugo M. Kehr on chance management and change processes on June 1st, 2017



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