"Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. It's not Utopian, I have proof."
This TED talk from Dan Pink on the economics of motivation. This is an awesome presentation with good information and a compelling speaker. The thesis: Knowledge work doesn't improve with higher incentive rewards, in fact it may be hindered. Why is there a mismatch between what Science KNOWS and what Business DOES?
This has been replicated over and over and over again for nearly fourty years. These contingent motivators, "if you do this, then you get that," work in some circumstances but for a lot of tasks they don't work or often they do harm. This is one of the most robust findings in Social Science and also one of the most ignored.
The talk dovetails nicely into the book I'm reading Predictably Irrational by D. Ariely, which I would suggest for further reading. As well as Management Rewired, which is next on my reading list.
Two quotes from Ariely used in this talk:
"As long as the task involved only *mechanical* skill, bonuses worked as they would be expected: the higher the pay, the better the performance."What would Peter Drucker say? I think he'd approve. Drucker "maintains that people motivate themselves. You can't motivate them; you can only thwart their motivation.To be an effective leader you must recognize that the business you're you're in is the obstacle identification and removal business. "source.
"But once the task called for "even *rudimentary cognitive skill*," a larger reward "led to *poorer performance*."