Science has managed to reveal some crazy things that fly in the face of almost every commonly accepted management practice. Here’s the latest: Rewards for top performers lead them to worse performance. And if you want to foster innovation, bonuses won’t work either. Rather, it’s all about letting people slip from under line management and strike out on their own, on projects they care about.
How to Motivate People: Skip the Bonus and Give Them a Real Project
Dan Pink lays all that out in this new video, which illustrates a talk he gave at the RSA (a kind of British version of TED):
It seems like common sense that you should reward the highest bonuses to the top earners. But instead, it seems like the only thing we fostered was a system where money mattered more than results. Which sounds obvious in retrospect, but it’s remarkable that science has shown this to be almost universally true.
This video is great for at least two reasons.
1. I have been trying to explain this to other leaders for a couple of years. That my generation and the one to come is much more cognizant of the reality that they are truly motivated by purpose more than profits. This culture shift of understanding has several implications on commerce, organizational motivation, and teamwork.
2. This video communicates in a highly effective way. Communicating with the 10 and half minute lecture, but also transcribing the most important words. Then giving those words more emphasis and color. They also add pictures which communicate thousands of extra words on top of what it is being said.
If you lead anyone doing anything…trust me, this video is a must watch.