Excerpt: Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation

There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does. And here is what science knows. One: Those 20th century rewards, those motivators we think are the natural part of business, do work, but only in a surprisingly narrow band of circumstances. Two: Those if-then rewards often destroy creativity. Three: The secret to high performance isn’t rewards and punishments, but that unseen intrinsic drive. The drive to do things for their own sake.The drive to do things cause they matter.

Let me give you an even more radical example of it. Something called the Results Only Work Environment. The ROWE.  Created by two American consultants, in place at about a dozen companies around North America. In a ROWE people don’t have schedules. They show up when they want. They don’t have to be in the office at a certain time, or any time. They just have to get their work done. How they do it, when they do it, where they do it, is totally up to them. Meetings in these kinds of environments are optional.

What happens? Almost across the board, productivity goes up, worker engagement goes up, worker satisfaction goes up, turnover goes down. Autonomy, mastery and purpose, These are the building blocks of a new way of doing things

[via TedTalk]

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