The Surprising Science of Motivation

I just viewed this interesting video on Career Analyst Dan Pink discussing the Science of Motivation. He discusses what he calls a “mismatch between what science knows and what business does” in terms of human motivation. Those 20th Century motivators, says Pink, those rewards that we think are a natural part of business, work less and less in the 21st Century. The “if-then” rewards in current business environments often destroy creativity. He says that the secret to high performance are not attained through rewards and punishments, but rather that “unseen intrinsic drive, the drive to do things for their own sake, the drive to do things because they matter.”

Pink suggests that a new operating system is at play today, one that revolves around three elements: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. He uses the example of how Encarta Encyclopedia was created and its success, versus how Wikipedia was created and its ongoing success. Pink compares the old “carrot and stick” motivation techniques versus motivation by autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

It is definitely worth a view, because I’m sure that you, like me, see too much of the old “carrot and stick” approach still in play in our workplaces.

Watch theThe Surprising Science of Motivation video and give me your opinion.