Autonomy, mastery, and sense of purpose

I have stumbled across this RSA Animate video on a few occasions now, most recently on Kneale Mann’s thought-provoking blog, YouIntegrate. It’s an adaptation of Dan Pink’s talk at an RSA event. This video illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace. I wanted to share it with you in light of what the Government of Canada is currently doing regarding innovation incentives.

The premise of the video is quite simple, but controversial nonetheless:

  • For simple, rudimentary tasks, a monetary reward works as an incentive.
  • For tasks that require conceptual and/or creative thinking,a monetary reward leads to poor performance.

What is the ultimate motivator in the workplace?

Autonomy, mastery, and sense of purpose.

Please don’t miss the very important point that this only applies once the issue of money is placed off of the table. In other words, your employees must first feel that they are being compensated fairly for their jobs.

It’s interesting to see that the Government of Canada is basically taking the opposite approach of what is recommended in this video by offering $10,000 cash bonuses for innovation.

I can’t wait to see the results.

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