Favorite quote from the author:
Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement. : - Daniel H. Pink
Daniel Pink through this Book re-examined an assumption that’s fundamentally wrong – like rewards and punishments can motivate people. His team conducted series of experiments on Monkeys, and one such test gave exciting finding.
He placed a lock in the closed position in a cage of a monkey. What happened almost immediately shocked him – they started to play with it and figured out the puzzle. What’s surprising about this is that they were given no external rewards or punishments to evoke this behaviour. There were only two drives that could explain this behaviour –
- A biological drive, where we’ll do anything to stay alive and satisfy our carnal urges. He called this Motivation 1.0.
- External stimulus – rewards and punishments or carrots and sticks – delivered for behaving in certain ways. That was it. And neither of these two drives could account for what those apes were doing. So, Daniel came to the conclusion that there was a third drive – that the task itself provided an intrinsic reward.
According to Daniel, carrots and sticks approach has few deadly repercussions like it:
- Extinguishes intrinsic motivations,
- Diminishes performance,
- Crushes creativity,
- Eliminates good behaviour,
- Encourages cheating,
- Brings habit of short-term thinking &
- Becomes addictive.
Daniel put forth a third concept called Motivation 2.0 which is based on Type I & Type X model. Type X is the kind of people who chase external rewards and ironically large portion of the human race is trained to chase external rewards. Type I people on the other hand chase intrinsic rewards and they always outperform Type X in the long-run.
Whether or not the people you work with are Type I or Type X, you’ve got every reason to motivate them using Type I motivation. And you do it by giving people what they crave – autonomy, mastery and purpose.
Daniel points out, just flexibility is not autonomy. Complete and utter autonomy is the only thing that works.
Now, you might be thinking…What? You want me to give people autonomy? They can’t even do what they are told! How do you expect us to produce results with this touchy-feely stuff?
Well, a research conducted at Cornell University studied 320 small businesses – half of which granted autonomy and half that relied on top-down direction. The businesses that offered the autonomy grew at 4 times the rate of the control-oriented firms and had 1/3 the turnover rate.
Here are the 4 main ways you can grant autonomy.
- You can give autonomy to what people do – their task.
- You can give people autonomy over when they work.
- You can give people autonomy over how they do their work.
- You can give people autonomy over who they work with.
We love to get better at things, reaching a point of mastery gives a sense of achievement and satisfaction. The precondition is that we need to be in a state of what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “flow”. It’s the state of mind where everything is just clicking. Sports people would call it “in the zone”. It’s where the relationship between what you had to do and what you could as a perfect match.
If you think of autonomy and mastery as the first two legs of the Type I tripod, purpose becomes that last leg we need in order to balance. As Dan says: “Autonomous people working towards mastery perform at very high levels. But those who do so in the service of some greater objective can achieve even more."
Left with goals without a purpose beyond financial motives – the largest carrot known to mankind, people do not perform as well in the long-term, as we’ve already discussed.
So to conclude, Daniel through this book (and scientific experiments) has proven that science knows much more about the human condition than business does. If you want to catch up, all you need to do is allow yourself and the people that work for you find autonomy, mastery and purpose in their life. You’ll not only have a much happier life, you’ll be more successful and happy while you are at it.
Grab a copy of this book to find your purpose and keep reading on how we have inculcated Type I behaviour through our COMPANY CULTURESCAPE.