The one-sentence summary
We are driven by autonomy, mastery and purpose – the desire to direct our own lives, get better at something that matters, and be part of something bigger.
- Using carrots and sticks to motivate people doesn’t work. We need to concentrate on autonomy, mastery and purpose
- When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system (carrot and stick) doesn’t work and often does harm
- Autonomy is the desire to direct our own lives
- Mastery is the urge to get better and better at something that matters
- Purpose is the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves
- Baseline rewards (salary, contract and a few perks) have to be adequate. Beyond that, motivation comes from autonomy, mastery and purpose
- Type X behaviour is based on extrinsic desires such as external rewards
- Type I behaviour is interested in intrinsic rewards – the inherent satisfaction of the activity itself (so long as baseline rewards are adequate)
- ‘If-then’ rewards usually do more harm than good for creative, conceptual tasks (“If you do this, you’ll get that.”)
- ‘Now that’ rewards are offered after a task has been completed (“Now that you’ve done such a great job, let’s acknowledge the achievement”), and come as a surprise. These are more effective
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- Low-profit limited liability corporations (L3Cs) are the new breed. They operate like a for-profit business and generate a modest profit, but their primary aim is to offer social benefits
- FedEx days (so-called because they have to deliver something overnight) allow employees to tackle any problem they want, and are hugely productive
- People like Goldilocks tasks best – not easy nor too hard. This is where people get ‘in the flow’ and do their best work
- The Sawyer Effect (inspired by the Mark Twain story in which Tom persuades his friends to pay to whitewash a fence) highlights two crucial effects:
1) Offering rewards can turn play into work (negative)
2) Focusing on mastery can turn work into play (positive)
- A ROWE is a Results-Only Work Environment, where employees don’t have schedules. They don’t have to be in the office at any particular time. They just have to get their work done.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- Nothing. It’s to the point and well summarised so you can get straight to it.