Here is a fantastic hand drawn animated explanation of Dan Pink’s latest book Drive by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)
I have selected some excerpts of the animation but I highly recommend the 10 minute video for the content and the entertainment of watching the artist illustrate in fast motion.
For simple, straight forward, rudimentary tasks, bonuses work as expected; the higher the pay the higher the performance.
When a task gets more complicated, requiring some conceptual, creative thinking; larger rewards lead to poorer performance.
Money motivates people only if you don’t pay them enough to want to do the work.
There are three factors that lead to better performance and personal satisfaction:
- Autonomy – our desire to direct our own lives
- Mastery – our urge to get better at stuff (Like playing a musical instrument.)
- Contribution – making a difference (Linux, Wikipedia)
More and more corporations have a transcendent purpose. Partly because it makes coming to work better and partly because it attracts better talent.
We are purpose maximizers, not just profit maximizers.
I think we are all looking for more meaning in our work and lives but the research that Dan Pink offers is somewhat counter-intuitive on the surface. Money turns out to not be a very good motivator for more creative and cognitive work.
The question for each of us is whether or not we can create inspiring projects and businesses that attract talented employees and volunteers while giving everyone the freedom to choose what they want to work on. Could you create the next Wikipedia or Linux?