An interview with Helle Bundgaard
Founder, Motivation Factor

Helle Bundgaard, Danish ex-IT millionaire and author of the Hierarchy of Motivation® and the Motivation Factor® framework, officially launched her first Asian partnership with PACE this September with a week that culminated in the Real Motivation Symposium. Helle and our founders, Dr. Lily Cheng and Dr. Peter Cheng were featured on 938LIVE radio’s Breakfast Club show on 20 September 2017, which aired highlights of Helle’s story and the introduction of Motivation Factor to Singapore and the region. 

More of Helle’s experience of going from rags to riches, back to rags then finding true riches in coaching more than 400 senior executives a year through the Motivation Factor framework, and the story behind the birth of Motivation Factor are brought to you in this short interview.

Share with us more about your background, how did you begin your career?

I started my career in the IT industry and made it my goal to be an IT millionaire, which I achieved by my mid-30s. It was very exciting in the beginning, but I found myself asking “what’s next?” I did not have a passion and purpose that would help me stay motivated.

When the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, I lost all the money I had made. The massive loss certainly affected my motivation, however, I found that after six months I was almost back to normal in the way I worked. 

Helle, Lily and Peter with Keith De Souza on the 938LIVE Breakfast Club radio show. 

Helle, Lily and Peter with Keith De Souza on the 938LIVE Breakfast Club radio show. 

How did this realisation about your motivation affect you?

It was in this state that I began to search for what would truly motivate a person. Even with decades of motivation management theory, we still have a one-size-fits-all approach, and yet the truth is, motivation is deeply personal, situational, and subject to our cultural differences.

One day while I was out running, I thought about how every individual has the common denominator of the human brain. The fundamentals of how our brain works, and how we process information both emotionally and intellectually are the same for all of us, regardless of our culture or upbringing. I then sought to use neuropsychology to create a framework that helps others manage their own motivation by becoming super users of the brain.

How did your neuropsychology findings become the Motivation Factor® framework as we know it today?

I spent four years learning about the latest developments in psychology and brain science, always keeping a practical perspective in mind on how I could bridge the gap from lab brain research to developing applicable management tools for use in a business context.

This eventually led to the development of the Motivation Factor® framework that works with the universal “hardware” of the brain while providing tools to manage the “software” of our motivational drivers, along with online assessments that measure the intrinsic motivation, motivation capability and strategic connection of individuals. While the framework has the individual in mind, it can be equally applied across the whole organisation and used by employees from different rungs of the corporate ladder.

How can organisations leverage on the Motivation Factor® framework that you have developed?

Motivation Factor has been delivering its training programmes through our thriving network of strategic partners in Europe, US and now in Asia through PACE OD Consulting, our partner in Singapore. Our strategic partners are certified practitioners of the Motivation Factor® framework and not only provide Motivation Factor’s tools and workshops to organisations, but also certification programmes and training to facilitators, consultants and HR Professionals.

Find out more about PACE’s Motivation Factor-powered programmes today by emailing