Daniel Pink came into our lives with a book, Drive, which surprised us with its focus and its key messages, and which quickly went viral, above all when its author appeared on TED. The focus of his message, which is motivation, is nothing new. However, the conclusions he comes to are novel.
According to the author, motivation through “carrot and stick” worked at other periods in history, but nowadays does not always work as expected. Pink considers and invites us to consider the question.
He tells us that “…when the job to be done is purely mechanical, motivation through “carrot and stick” works, but when the job involves creativity, it does not work!”.
But why? And what does work in those cases?
Well, Daniel Pink comes to the conclusion that in an activity where the important thing is not mechanical repetition, people work much better when 3 specific conditions are met:
- We are conscious of and share the purpose for what we are doing.
- We have the expertise to do it, that is to say: the means, the knowledge, access to experts, and time.
- We are given independence.
If they tell us the ‘what for’, without telling us the ‘how’, they are leaving us a lot of space to develop our creativity, to grow and to provide value.
The author also alerts us regarding rewards. Have we thought about how we react in relation to how our successes are rewarded? According to Pink, “rewards, by their very nature, strengthen our focus”. Mmmm… interesting.
So, just as in the previous newsletter, when we spoke about leaders and the effect of their attitudes towards teams, here we can see the perspective from which we are driven as people and as teams.
Now we want you to think about the last time you delegated a complex task: Did you clarify the ‘what for’? Did you make sure the people had everything necessary in order to go forward? And, how often did you check on progress? Did you use rewards? How?
Make sure you share the same definition of ‘what for’, and let your team go build!
This is how it begins…
“Imagine it’s 1995. You sit down with an economist -an accomplished business school professor with a Ph.D. in economics. You say to her: «I’ve got a crystal ball here that can peer fifteen years into the future. I’d like to test your forecasting powers». She’s skeptical, but she decides to humor you. «I’m going to describe two new encyclopedias -one just out, the other to be launched in a few years. You have to predict which will be more successful in 2010.» «Bring it», she says.”