Traditional ways of management are great if we want compliance. But if we want engagement, self-direction works better.
There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does in terms of incentives and management
There are three main elements for motivation of people using their right brain to solve their daily problems : autonomy, mastery and purpose. Autonomy is the urge to direct our own lives,. Mastery is the desire to get better and better at something that matters. Purpose is the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
It’s not utopia, I have a proof. 10 years ago no sober economist would have predicted the success of the Wikipedia model over Microsoft one (Encarta). who wins ? Instrinsic motivation, autonomy mastery and purpose win over incentives.
If we bring our motivation notions into the 21st century, if we get past this lazy and dangerous ideology of carrots and sticks we can strengthen our businesses, we can solve a lot of tricky problems and maybe, maybe, maybe, we can change the world.
Check out the RSA animation of a similar conference by Daniel Pink. Great speech illustrated by comics making it fun to understand all the ideas. What a glorious concept !