Motivation: It's Not About Carrots or Sticks

Last Updated Aug 27, 2009 5:43 AM EDT

Daniel Pink, author of upcoming book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, gives this fascinating 18-minute TED talk in which he declares that sweet carrots (for example, "if you do well, I'll give you more money") actually stress people out and often decrease productivity. So what does work to motivate workers? Forget extrinsic motivators like carrots and sticks for difficult tasks that involve problem solving or creative thinking. Instead, focus on intrinsic motivators like:
  • Autonomy, the urge to direct our own lives
  • Mastery, the desire to get better at something that matters
  • Purpose, the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
What are the implications for how managers should run their teams, and what sort of jobs will most motivate young people like you? Check out the fascinating video below. (Hint: Pink really likes ROWE.)


Hat tip to Presentation Zen for pointing us in the direction of the talk.

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.