Daniel Pink is the author of four best-selling books on the changing world of work. His most recent is Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, which draws on behavioral research to challenge conventional thinking on how companies can get the best out of their employees. Others include A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need, and Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself. A free agent himself, Pink held his last real job in the White House, where he served from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore. He also worked as an aide to Labor Secretary Robert Reich. Pink is a contributing editor of Wired.
Factors within a human being or animal that arouse and direct goal-oriented behaviour. Motivation has long been a central subject of study in psychology. Early researchers, influenced by Charles Darwin, ascribed much of animal and human behaviour to instinct. Sigmund Freud believed that much of human behaviour was also based on irrational instinctive urges or unconscious motives. Walter B. Cannon proposed that basic human drives served homeostatic functions by directing energies toward the reduction of physiological tensions. Behavioral psychologists, in contrast, stress the importance of external goals in prompting action, while humanistic psychologists examine the role of felt needs. Cognitive psychologists have found that a motive sensitizes a person to information relating to that motive: a hungry subject, for example, will perceive food stimuli as larger than other stimuli. See alsobehaviour genetics; human nature; learning.
I find it sad that this logic is presented as some sort of revelation when it's really just common sense. It was always my belief that the elites sold the masses on the idea that money is the great motivator. Are the intellectuals sold on this as well?
Dan Pink is great and he has hit upon something that is very important for us in this day and age. If you want to see the same talk delivered live and with a little more "octane", watch it on TED. And definitely read Pink's book "Drive" - http://wp.me/pwfa1-u7 - it is very insightful.
Pink's blog - http://danpink.com - is also worth a read. Pink is very willing to engage in a dialogue with his readers.
Indeed! This is why I believe that we (particularly those of us who live in advanced nations) are slowly moving toward a post-Capitalistic society. Where the undending accrual of physical objects will become increasingly passe. In fact, part of the reason the U.S. and European economies have stagnated is because of product saturation. Most families, particularly in the middle class, have all the material comforts they need. There is just so much "stuff" that a person or a family -- for that matter -- can use and accrue.
I'm also finding within myself that when I was making less money, working part-time and volunteering at different organizations everyday, I was actually happier than I am now. Don't get me wrong. I am grateful that I have obtained full-time employment with benefits, making considerably more than what I was making about five years ago. I must admit, however, that because I have less time to volunteer my energy and talents to the community and to my friends (many of whom are artists who occasionally need help with installations and such), I find I am not as happy, even though I had the same financial obligations now as I did then. And even though I am handling those obligations better now than then. It's the strangest thing.
I don't think that's the point, necessarily. I think what he's saying is that whenever the profit motive because ALL that it is about, it leads to breehces of ethics and personal responsibility. Now, it doesn't necessarily mean that the person is "dumber" or less apt. However, when there is no sense of purpose and meaning behind someone's motivation, and it becomes all about more money, bad things tend to happen.
Which is why co-operative movements have been so successful. In the UK one of the few financial institutions that didn't collapse during the recent 'crisis' was the Co-operative Bank because it was run, not to maximise profit, but to provide services and jobs for its members. When profit alone becomes the guiding motive in any society there are problems. People do anything for money. Search Michael Parenti and Noam Chomsky on google for a detailed analysis.
it our motivations are unbelievably interesting I mean it I find I've been working on this for afew years I just find a topic still so amazingly engaging and interesting so I wannatell you about that the science is really surprising the science is a little bit freaky okay ifwe are not as endlessly manipulatable and as predictable as you would think there's a whole setof unbelievably interesting studies I want to give you two that call into question this idea that ifyou reward something you get more of the behavior you want and if you punish something you get less solet's talk let's go from London to the mean streets of Cambridge Massachusetts the northeastern part of theUnited States let's talk about a study done at MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology here's what they didthey took a whole group of students and they gave them a set of challenges things like ummemorizing strings of digits ah solving word puzzles other kinds of spatial puzzles even physical taskslike throwing a ball through a hoop okay they gave them these challenges and they said to incentivize theirperformance they gave him three levels of warts day so if you did pretty well andyou've got a small monitor report if you did me well you gotta media monitor wereand if you did really well if you are one of top performer to bet alarge cash prize that we seen this movie before this is essentially a typical motivation schemewithin organizations right when we were the very top performers we ignore the low performers andof the old folks come in the middle of ten in a little so what happensthey detest to have these incentives here's what they found that one as long as thecost involved only mechanical scale bonuses workers they would be expected the higher the pay thebetter the performance it that makes sense but yours what happens but once the task offereven rudimentary cognitive skill in larger reward lead to four performance this is Frank Wright alarger reward but the forefront I cannot possibly the most interesting about this is that thesefolks here who did this are all economists that the two at MIT one of theuniverse is called oh one at Carnegie Mellon take it up here the economics profession andare reaching this conclusion that seems contrary to what a lot of us learned in economicswhich is which is that the higher the reward the better performance than the saying thatonce you get above rudimentary cognitive skill it's the other way around which seems like thiskind of the idea that these words don't work that way seems vaguely left wing andsocial thousand it's kind of this kind of weird socialists conspiracy for those of you whohave those conspiracy theories I want to point out the soap that notoriously left wing socialistto finance the research the Federal Reserve Bank today as the mainstream of the mainstream comingto a conclusion it's quite surprising seems to defy the laws of physics it was thestrangest response to what they do this it looks this is this is freaky what thetest that somewhere else maybe that fifty dollars to develop price isn't sufficiently motivated for anMIT right but total place were fifty dollars is actually more significant relative but so withthe fake experiment in the bottom of a right India rule India where fifty dollars sixtydollars whatever the number was actually significant sum of money to be replicated experiment India roughlyas follows small rewards the quick one of two weeks' salary on resource a small performancelow performance to resell or a media performance about a month salary on type format buttwo months now so there's a real good incentive for tissue to get different results herewhat happened though was that the people offered the median reward didn't know better than thepeople offered the small room work but this time around people offer top work they didwere all tired center with the worst performance with interesting about this is that it actuallyisn't all that anomalous this has been replicated over and over and over again by psychologistsby Tom sums six and by sociologists Aachen by economists over and over and over againfor simple straightforward past those kinds of incentives if you do this then you get thattheir rates if passed the Dar al the rhythmic set of rules we have this followalong and get a right answer if than a rewards carrots and sticks outstanding but whenthe task gets more complicated it would require some conceptual creative thinking those kinds of motorthat are demonstrably don't work that money is a motivator at work but in a slightlystrange way if you don't pay people enough they will be motivated with cherries but there'sanother paradox which is the best use of money is a motivator it to pay peopleenough to take the issue of money off the table the people enough so that they'renot thinking about money that they can about the work out what to do that itturns out that three factors that the slideshows lead to better performance I'm not to mentionpersonal satisfaction autonomy mastery and purpose autonomy is our desire to be self directed to directoron lots now in many ways traditional notions of management run afoul of management is greatif you want compliance but if you want engagement which is what we wanna work forcetoday as he put in more complicated sophisticated thinks self direction is better one give yousome examples of its most radical form of self direction in the workplace that lead togood results but start with this company right here at last and an Australian company thesoftware company and they do something really cool once a quarter off on Thursday afternoon thecity the developers for the next twenty four hours you can work on anything you wantyou can work out the way you want you to work out with whomever you wantall we ask is that the show the results of the company at the end ofthe twenty four hours in this fun unimpeded not a star chamber session but this onemeeting with the year and cake and fun and other things like that it turns outthat that one day up your on diluted autonomy has led to a full re fixesfor existing software awful rib ideas for new products the other ones that never were oneday that this is not a gift an incentive to set up the sort of thingI would've done three years ago before I knew this reason I would've said you wantpeople to be creative and innovative hidden African innovation bonus if you do something cool tobe twenty five hundred dollars doing this at all essentially saying you probably want to dosomething interesting to me just about anywhere one Dale autonomy produces things that never were butthe mastery master is urged to get better at stuff we'd like to get better it'stough this is why people play musical instruments on the weekend yet all these people wereacting in ways that seem irrational economically the play musical instruments on weekends quiet spot tomake it to me it's not to make them any money why they doing it's funto get better at it not satisfied go back in time a little dimension I imaginethis if I went to my first economics professor a woman named Mary Alice shoulder Iwent to her in nineteen eighty three said the social that I talk to the classfor all to when I got this idea for a business model is water on itpassed this I would wear you get a bunch of people around the world we're doinghighly skilled work but they're willing to do it for free and fall into the toptwenty sum of thirty hours he's looking somewhat skeptical I'm not done and then what theycreate the given away rather than sell it here the stewardess to sleep with fun Iwas insane they seem to find that some think what happened next powering water for corporateservers and fortune five hundred companies Apache powering up more than the majority of web serversout with the PDF what's going on why oh why are people doing what they wantthese people many of whom are technically sophisticated I was still people who have jobs okthey have jobs they're working in jobs for pay doing to our seats doing sophisticated subtlepsychological work and that during their limited discretionary time they do equally if not more technicallysophisticated work not for their employer but for someone else for Friday the strange economic behavioreconomists to look into it while doing this it's overwhelming weekly challenge of mastering along withmaking country that would be seeing more and more to rise with my call the purposeis that more and more organizations want to have some kind of transcendent purpose partly becauseit makes come and work better partly because that's the way to get better talent onyou were saying now is in some ways when the profit motive becomes one more wordfrom the purpose motive of bad things happen that exactly sometimes but also bad things justlike not good stuff like crappy products like Lee service but uninspiring places where that whenthe profit motive is is is paramount or when it becomes completely on its purpose it'sjust people into great thing more and more organizations are our realize this and the thirddisturbing the categories between what profit what's with purpose and and I think that actually helpssomething interesting I think that the companies that organizations that are flourishing with a profit forproper somewhere in between are are are animated by this purpose but only get a coupleexamples here's the founder sky this is our goal to be disruptive but in the causeof making the world a better place pretty good purpose fifty jobs well enough but beingin the universe alright the thing that my kitchen up in the morning every reason togo to work so I think that um that we all our purpose maximize the snugglyprofit this thing to sign shows that we care about mastering very very deeply in thesign shows that we want to be self directed and I think that the big takeawayhere is that if we start treating people like people and not assuming that this obliqueforces second smaller smaller better smelling course I've to get past this ideology of carrots andsticks and look at the science um I think we can actually build organizations and worklives that make us better off but I also think they have the promise to makeour world is a little bit better