Drive - The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
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The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us By Daniel Pink
Neighborhood Guides Recognize that people motivate themselves But it is up to the Guide to create an environment that ignites each person’s own motivation Understanding human motivation can help us create that environment
Human Motivation 1.0 Biological Drive: Hunger, Thirst & Sex An operating system not much different from apes and other animals. Worked well and served us until it didn’t
Human Motivation 2.0 Extrinsic Drive: Responding to rewards and punishments in our environments (Carrots and Sticks) This operating system upgrade from Motivation 1.0 began when we had to cooperate with each other to survive. More complex societies were built We had to suppress our biological drives. A more accurate assumption is that humans are more than our biological urges. We seek reward and avoid punishment more broadly. Humans have uniquely mastered this operating system and channeled this drive to develop everything from contract law to convenience stores.
Human Motivation 2.0 Businesses have been operating under this system for a long time. Early 1900’s - Frederick Taylor – Scientific Management – reward employee behaviors you want and punish those you don’t want. Assumes humans aren’t much more than horses – dangle a carrot in front of our noses or hit us with a sharper stick and we will go in the right direction.
Human Motivation 3.0 Intrinsic Drive: Since the middle of the 20 th century, scientists have been studying this 3 rd drive. Businesses haven’t caught up with this new understanding. Motivation 2.0 is so ingrained in us, we don’t even think about it.
The Problem with Carrots & Sticks Motivation 2.0 – highly unreliable – sometimes it works and many times it doesn’t. 3 Defects - not only incompatible with but can be antagonistic to: The way we organize what we do
The way we think about what we do The way we do what we do
The Way we Organize what we Do Imagine it is 1995. You sit down with an accomplished economist and say – I’m going to describe two new encyclopedias – one just out and the other to be launched in a few years. You have to predict which will be more successful in 2012.
Two Encyclopedias The first is Microsoft – it will pay professional writers and editors to craft 1000’s of articles – overseen by well paid managers to ensure its completed on budget and on time – it will be sold on CDs then online The second won’t come from a company. It will be created by tens of thousands of people who write and edit articles for fun. No one will be paid a dollar, a euro or a yen for their work. And the encyclopedia will exist online and will be free.
Open Source Tens of thousands of software projects – Linux, Firefox, etc. But also open source: • Cookbooks, textbooks • Car design • Medical research • Legal briefs • Stock photography • Prosthetics • Credit unions, cola, beer, etc.
Open source – relies on Intrinsic Motivation No vow of poverty Can burnish reputations, improve earning potential, hone skills MIT study – Motivation for open source – How creative a person feels when working on the project is the strongest and most pervasive driver Participants reached a state of “flow”
More than open source Two types of businesses – profit and nonprofit One makes money, the other does good. Publically traded – one overriding responsibility – maximize shareholder gain 2008 – Vermont – 1st state to allow a new type of business – low-profit, limited liability corporation – operates like a for-profit but its primary aim is to offer significant social benefits Social businesses, for-benefit organizations, and B Corporations – incentives favor long-term value and social impact
The Way we Think about What we Do In the past, economics taught us that humans are wealth maximizers – we will always do what is best for us An experiment... Someone gives me $10 to share with you 2002 – Nobel Award in economics went to Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist. He revealed that humans are not always rational calculators of our economic self-interest.
Humans are Predictably Irrational This calls into question the assumptions of Motivation 2.0 – sometimes these motivators work, sometimes they don’t We leave lucrative jobs to take low-paying ones that have a clearer sense of purpose We work to master the piano on the weekends, although we have little hope of making a dime from playing one We play with puzzles even though we don’t get a few dollars for solving them “It is inconceivable that people are motivated solely or even mainly by external incentives.” Bruno Frey
The Way we Do what we Do Frederick Taylor’s Ghost – “Work” consists mainly of uninteresting tasks. The only way to get people to them is to incentivize them properly and monitor them carefully. Jobs have become more complex, more interesting, and more self-directed. Yes, even the job of caring for human beings
2 Kinds of Jobs Algorithmic – You follow a set of established instructions down a single pathway to one conclusion (there is an algorithm for solving it) Heuristic – The opposite. Because there is no algorithm for it, you have to experiment with possibilities and devise a novel solution Most work in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan has become more creative and less routine. Routine work has moved to India, Bulgaria, China and the Philippines where it can be done cheapest.
Heuristic Tasks Intrinsic motivation principle of creativity: “Intrinsic motivation is conducive to creativity; controlling extrinsic motivation is detrimental to creativity.” Carrots and sticks work well for algorithmic tasks but are devastating for heuristic ones. There may be short-term gains, but eventually carrots and sticks will crush creativity.
Motivation 2.0 Comes from the assumption that all work is dreary and not inherently enjoyable. Researchers Deci & Csikszentmihalyi – found that people are much more likely to report having “optimal experiences” on the job than during leisure. And that adding extrinsic rewards on top of inherently interesting tasks can often dampen motivation and diminish performance Carrots and sticks can achieve the opposite of what we want them to achieve.
If work is dreary Then we need a lot of people to carefully monitor people so they don’t shirk their duties. Routine, uninteresting jobs require direction, nonroutine, more interesting work depends on selfdirection.
Motivation Caveat The starting point for any discussion on motivation: People have to earn a living. If someone’s baseline rewards are not adequate or equitable her focus will be on the unfairness of her situation and the anxiety of her circumstance. Without adequate baseline rewards, you get very little motivation at all.
Questions for You Is hands-on care-giving Algorithmic or Heuristic work? As managers, how do we treat it? What results do we get when we use Motivation 2.0?
Douglas MacGregor MIT Management professor – 1960 published The Human Side of Enterprise Those running companies were operating from faulty assumptions about human behavior. Offered a different view: •
Humans take as much interest in their work as they do in their rest or play
Creativity and ingenuity are widely distributed in the population
Under proper conditions people will seek responsibility
An upgrade to Motivation 3.0 The three elements of intrinsic motivation: • Autonomy
• Mastery • Purpose
Autonomy Our human “default setting” is to be autonomous and self-directed. Circumstances, including management, often conspire to change that default setting and change our behavior. To encourage creativity and ingenuity, people need autonomy over TASK (what they do), TIME (when they do it) TEAM (who they do it with), and TECHNIQUE (how they do it) Companies that offer autonomy out-perform those who don’t.
Mastery Motivation 2.0 requires “compliance.” Motivation 3.0 demands “engagement.” Only engagement can produce mastery – becoming better at something that matters. Mastery begins with “flow” – optimal experiences when the challenges we face are exquisitely matched with our abilities. Smart workplaces supplement day-today activities with “Goldilocks” tasks – or allow workers to sculpt a part of their day – even low-autonomy jobs can become fun and produce flow.
Mastery abides by 3 rules 1. Mastery is a mindset: it requires the capacity to see your abilities not as finite, but infinitely improvable 2. Mastery is a pain: it demands effort, grit, and deliberate practice 3. Mastery is an asymptote: it is impossible to fully realize, which makes it simultaneously frustrating and alluring
Purpose Humans by their nature seek purpose – a cause greater and more enduring than themselves Until recently, businesses have seen purpose as a nice ornamental accessory With the Boomers and their own aging, that is changing Purpose maximization is taking place along side profit maximization
The New Purpose Motive Goals that use profit to reach purpose Words that emphasize more than self-interest Policies that allow people to seek purpose on their own terms
In the Future The most successful organizations will be those that can harness intrinsic motivation by creating environments where autonomy, mastery, and purpose are the operating system, and the use of carrots and sticks is minimized.