General FAQs

How did you develop MDNA and the 7 gifts?

To develop MDNA and the seven gifts, a combination of research on intrinsic motivation and social DNA was used. More specifically, understanding of intrinsic motivation was based upon the social science of Self-Determination Theory (SDT). SDT was used as a meta framework to compare patterns within data from human and culture systems. This included historical references, popular trends and theories from thought leaders. This data was considered "social DNA," as it was able to categorize patterns of intrinsic motivation, that determined predictable behaviors, value systems, and identities, into seven themes which we called "gifts." The term gifts was selected to express the value which one gives to others when properly intrinsically motivated. Once the framework of seven gifts was identified, it was just a matter of identifying and validating the seven gifts through testing and real world application.

Through initial testing, it was demonstrated that every individual could exhibit qualities of all seven gifts. Therefore an approach common to strengths and talent assessments was adopted by ranking the gifts by developmental dominance. This settled on assigning individuals their top two gifts, effectively creating 42 different combined profiles. Later, after working with over thousands of different employees, the top two dominant gifts approach was changed to an "Intrinsic Motivational Spectrum" to accommodate new discoveries in neuroscience and the brain's impact on motivation.

The first version of MDNA was released in 2009. The current version is MDNA 3.0 True Joy.

At this point we fully recognize that we have “stood on the shoulders of giants” in terms of our research. Without them, we would have never been able to add our own insights or expand on the foundations. With that being said, all MDNA terminology and software platform are completely unique for our purposes.