Motivation: do what you know is right, not because you're afraid of consequences

By William Seidman I am enthusiastic about Daniel Pink’s newest book Drive, and have been discussing it a lot lately, but I had some questions for Pink: Q. Why don’t more companies adopt and support intrinsic motivation? (Pink calls it “Motivation 3.0”) Q. Most executives know that it is more powerful than the old carrot-and-stick approaches — “Motivation 2.0.”  So why not rely on it? I emailed Pink and got a quick response. His thinking is that “folklore” was a critical factor. People have been brought up on Motivation 2.0 – the carrot and the stick — and told it is the way to drive work. Leaders rely on that. I think it goes even further. I think Motivation 3.0 – intrinsic motivation, which comes from within — requires executives to trust people to do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do, and executives are not really comfortable trusting others. A move to 3.0 requires of a leap of faith. Fortunately, recent advances in neuroscience make the leap smaller because this research shows how our brains respond differently to 2.0 than 3.0. As Pink notes, intrinsic motivation literally stimulates different portions of the brain that are more closely associated with independent work. This is the same body of research Cerebyte uses to create and sustain people’s motivation to change.]]>

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