Monday, July 21, 2014

RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

The video makes the point, which seems reasonable to me, that the best way to motivate behavior depends on the behavior you want to motivate.

  • If you want more production in work that requires only mechanical skills and does not require creativity and innovation but simply effort, pay more for more work.
  • If you want more and better production in work that requires cognitive skills, pay enough that the worker doesn't need to worry about pay and then motivate by providing autonomy, the chance to achieve mastery, and a significant purpose for the work.
My experience suggests that the way good performance is developed in science and technology is to provide workers with jobs with a middle class standard of living (including the status that comes with entry into the middle class), and then giving them autonomy to develop their ideas, the chance to get better and better at their work, and problems to work on that they find important, challenging and interesting.

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