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Posted: January 17th, 2022

What Motivates Us

This discussion is based on a TED Talk by Dan Pink.  Pink, a former speech writer, career analyst, and author of the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, reveals some remarkable facts about motivation that have been confirmed in many social science experiments but aren’t widely recognized.  Pink argues that the way we’re motivating people is all wrong, and he proposes a new model to replace traditional incentives. Watch Pink’s TED Talk in the Reading and Resources section, then respond to all of the following questions in your post: 

  1. Did you find Pink’s talk surprising?  Why or why not?

Pink concludes: “There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does. Here is what science knows. One: Those 20th century rewards, those motivators we think are a 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.” 2. How do you think managers can use this knowledge to motivate their employees? How will you use this knowledge in your own pursuits?

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