The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

by Vitalii Tsybulnyk 9. June 2010 13:18

The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) recently published a very impressive video of Dan Pink presenting the surprising truth about what motivates us. This video is definitely worth spending 40 minutes of your life watching it, but there is also a very nice smaller 10-min animated version of it for those who'd prefer to know a short summary instead of a whole story.

Dan's talk is built around the problem of motivation.

The first surprising 'truth' he discovers is that money is not, in fact, a real motivator in the present world. Money is only a good motivator for simple, straightforward jobs. For creative, complex jobs an absence of money is a demotivator, however once you pay enough, it stops being a motivator at all.

What are the real motivators then?

They are:

AUTONOMY - our desire to be self-directed. The traditional goal of management, 'to control', was invented in 1850's and simply doesn't work in a today's world of complex creative jobs.

MASTERY - our desire to make progress, to get better at what we do. This is one of the most significant components of our satisfaction from work.

PURPOSE - we want to be a part of something bigger, something that makes world better.

Dan provides many very impressive examples and research results, so I'd recommend watching the original video to get your own impression.


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