Daniel Pink on Motivation
This week I’m going to hear Dan Pink talk about motivation.
Dan says rewards based on the “carrot and stick” approach only work for basic, mechanistic kinds of work. According to his new book “Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us” scientists have consistently demonstrated that this “carrot and stick” approach is measurably detrimental to motivation and creative, problem-solving ability.
Apparently these results have been known for many decades, yet business continues to ignore them.
Here’s Dan speaking at the TED conference:
Why You Should Care
- In high labour cost countries like the UK, USA and Italy we’re increasingly competing at creative, problem-solving work.
- Understanding how to motivate people for problem-solving work is utterly vital for building truly agile software development teams.
- These ideas make it easier to understand the massive success open source projects such as Linux, Apache and Wikipedia have had.
- Financial institutions love to advocate the idea that they must be allowed to pay huge bonuses to attract the best talent. Dan’s argument strongly suggests:
- that simply offering mega-bonuses on their own might not attract the best people, and
- that mega-bonuses might actually hurt people’s abilities to work effectively.
- Dan suggests an alternative way of motivating people based on autonomy, mastery and purpose
You can also read Dan Pink’s original posting about Drive.