This video provides a peek into the science of human motivation.
There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business
And what's alarming here is that our business operating system —
think of the set of assumptions and protocols beneath our businesses,
how we motivate people, how we apply our human resources — it's built
entirely around these extrinsic motivators, around carrots and sticks.
That's actually fine for many kinds of 20th century tasks. But for 21st
century tasks, that mechanistic, reward-and-punishment approach doesn't
work, often doesn't work, and often does harm.
Here is the direct link to the video on Ted's site.
Here is an excerpt from the talk.
Too many organizations are making their decisions, their policies about talent and people, based on assumptions that are outdated, unexamined, and rooted more in folklore than in science. And if we really want to get out of this economic mess, and if we really want high performance on those definitional tasks of the 21st century, the solution is not to do more of the wrong things. To entice people with a sweeter carrot, or threaten them with a sharper stick. We need a whole new approach.
And the good news about all of this is that the scientists who've been studying motivation have given us this new approach. It's an approach built much more around intrinsic motivation. Around the desire to do things because they matter, because we like it, because they're interesting, because they are part of something important. And to my mind, that new operating system for our businesses revolves around three elements: autonomy, mastery and purpose.
- Autonomy, the urge to direct our own lives.
- Mastery, the desire to get better and better at something that matters.
- Purpose, the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
These are the building blocks of an entirely new operating system for our businesses.