Gamanians, Evolve! Finding the Drive

Why bother going out of your way to look for challenges? People may differ in what they expect in life but there is no doubt that challenges brings progress. With challenges, there is now a goal in life and you can strive for a higher plane. For an individual, what is it that drives them to face new challenges? For a company, how do you get everyone working together? G!VOICE will now join you in finding the drive and taking the next step in evolution! 

The Source of Challenges: The Need for Achievement

Where do challenges come from? Psychologist D.C. McClelland proposed the concept of “The Need for Achievement” as the driving force behind people seeking to achieve their targets. McClelland felt that people’s activities all have a certain purpose. They strive to achieve a certain accomplishment and overcome the many obstacles along the way until they succeed. The need for achievement is just one type of motive; it interacts with other motivations such as creativity, self-improvement and search for knowledge, and can also be channeled by society and a phase in life. For example, the need for achievement at a young age may be expressed through games and following rules; upon reaching school age, it takes the form of learning and personal relationships; in the workplace it may become performance at work or promotion. 

▲ McClelland compiled the higher-level needs of humans into the Need for Power, Need for Affiliation and Need for Achievement.

Researchers have also found that externally and internally-triggered motives vary greatly in intensity. Research showed that when activities controlled by external motivations (e.g., things you have to do like exams and homework) are compared to those controlled by inner motivations (e.g., things you want to do like playing chess or sports), subjects found the latter more enjoyable and were more willing to attempt the challenge. The more difficult the challenge, the more attractive it is. This is why you must work in a field you love in order to give it 100% and achieve the best returns! 

From Individual to Group: Challenging it Together with the Company

When groups of people all have the appropriate need for achievement then they will progress rapidly. If everyone shares a common goal and are not afraid of the challenge, they will be more competitive and have the flexibility to keep up with the times. In today’s rapidly changing society, we are faced with all kinds of challenges all the time. Let’s see how they cope with this at MUJI and Google! 

When we talk about rising from the ashes, then the story of MUJI is a legend in its own. In 1999, MUJI’s profitability plummeted due to over-expansion and everyone in the market was talking about the “MUJI Collapse”. At the time, Tadamitsu Matsui, who had a HR background, took over as the president and introduced a series of reforms that attempted to resurrect the MUJI brand. Matsui’s iron-fisted approach started out by incinerating 3.8 billion in inventory to symbolize the rebirth of MUJI. It then went back to a more emotive business approach with improvements to the accounting system and optimization of product development. It then abandoned its old principle of “only expanding when in the black” to embark on a bold expansion strategy based around the potential of business districts. These measures meant sacrifices had to be made and seemed hard to believe. These reforms however changed MUJI in fundamental ways until it finally turned the tide and rose to new heights. 

▲MUJI expanded its product scope to include the senses of smell and touch. This provided consumers with a more in-depth and refined experience. 

▲MUJI kept its finger on the pulse of society. Its partners for its clothing range included top fashion designers such as Yoichi Nagasawa, Yohji Yamamoto and Kunio Uehara. 

Difficult circumstances naturally need to be challenged. How do you maintain the drive for new challenges when everything is going smoothly? Google the constant innovator may offer a useful example! Google encourages people to propose ideas freely then decide their priority based on consensus. Employees have the opportunity to see their ideas put into action and change the world. This makes them want from the bottom of their hearts to surpass their competitors and themselves. Google’s strategy for these highly motivated employees is to challenge them: Each project usually lasts only 3 months and employees on average stay in the same position between 12 to 18 months so their environment is always changing and everything always feels fresh. 

▲Google’s office environment is much talked about. Under the relaxed atmosphere, the employees are actually all attempting new challenges all the time!

What is the most satisfying and most happy moment in life? The answer may be different for everyone. The psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow proposed the idea of “Peak Experience”. He pointed out that the existence of a moving experience that combines joy, excitement, happiness, complete abandon and inspiration all in one moment. Such an epiphany is often achieved through some form of arduous challenge. Whether successful or not, a challenge offers more than just material rewards. It is a catalyst of life and it also brings that precious sense of satisfaction and understanding from doing your best. Gamania’s latest challenge has started. Are you ready? 

▲Have you ever experienced the peak experience conferred by a challenge? 


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