Do you know what motivates you?

Do you know what motivates you at work? Is it the glory, the cash, the dramatic road warrior lifestyle? Or do you blindly “do stuff” and enjoy some of it, and other bits not so much?

Well, occasionally in the mass of Management reading I do I come across something that helps me realise how I operate and improves how I perform through higher self awareness. I recently read “Drive” by Daniel Pink, and suggest you do too – as it will help you get to grips with how you are motivated at work.

Welcome to Motivation 3.0

Central to the book is the theory of Motivation 3.0. To understand how we got there, we need to know about 1.0 & 2.0. Motivation 1.0 was pretty simple – eat, find shelter, or die. Good cavemen grade stuff. Moving to 2.0 we enter the industrial age where performance is rewarded and disobedience punished.

Daniel Pink’s theory is that we have moved now to 3.0, as 2.0 only works for jobs with a fixed path to completion with no room for creativity, such as data entry or widget making. Work is increasingly creative – BI is definitely short on routine, easily defined work – and he proposes that you cannot give rewards for being creative because that makes creativity work, and then demotivates you to be creative….  a bit of a fatal blow in the modern workplace.

So Motivation 3.0 gives the worker the inner drive to solve creative problems through 3 things:

  • Mastery – striving to be a master of your trade
  • Autonomy – freedom to pursue your own path to your objectives
  • Purpose – being part of something bigger than making money

These all lead to the employer having to have faith in employees to do the right thing and work for the goals of the company without the traditional constraints of Motivation 2.0 – i.e. punishment and reward. It ultimately drives to the Result Oriented Work Environment – where hours are less important than what you deliver in the time you spend. Imagine a world without the 9-5 obligation where half your day is wasted because you just aren’t in the zone (or “in Flow” as it is referred to by some researchers), and you may as well have been at the beach?

It’s a short and interesting read, backed up with research, examples and stories that will prove thought provoking, and may change the way you go about your job.

Update 15/01/2013 – thanks to one of my colleagues, here’s a great TED Talk from the author on some of the key themes:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>