How to use Self Determination Theory to increase ownership in self-organizing teams.

In this workshop you will learn how to increase motivation and ownership in self-organizing teams by applying Self Determination Theory to fulfill needs of autonomy, competence and connection.

What you will learn

  • How to get things done by increasing intrinsic (and autonomous) motivation.
  • How to increase ownership and responsibility.
  • How to create the conditions for co-creation.
  • How to give feedback that motivates.


Agile empowers employees to self-manage, but even when a manager steps down and offers space as a servant leader, it is common to see employees waiting with a passive attitude.

After years of taking orders at school of work, employees might find themselves unfamiliar with the freedom and responsibility that self-management brings. How can you invite your employees to take initiative?

The Self Determination Theory explains motivation. The key insight that is not about the quantity of motivation, but about the quality of motivation. For self-management to work, we can’t motivate employees with rewards or fear of punishment. We can’t tell them what to do, or it wouldn’t be self-management. So, how do you motivate employees to take action towards your organisational goals? You need a different kind of motivation: intrinsic or autonomous motivation.

In this workshop you will learn how to apply Self Determination theory to motivate employees, increase ownership and make self-management work.

For who?

Anybody in a leadership position - manager, teamleaders, scrummasters, product owners - that wants to get things done in a self-organizing team.

Workshop programme

  1. Introduction
    How can Self-Determination Theory help self-organizing teams take more ownership?

  2. Brainstorm
    Inspire eachother (with examples).
    • How to fulfill the need for autonomy.
    • How to fulfill the need for competence.
    • How to fulfill the need for connection.

  3. Putting it all together: a practice for assiging tasks and giving feedback
    • Examples and demonstration.
    • Role play exercise in groups.

This event is part of the Agile20Reflect festival.

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash