A book about the psychology of what motivates people. It talks about how to inspire intrinsic motivation and how external rewards are detrimental to our behaviour.
Being a professional, is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them.
The Tom swayer Effect – Rewards can perform a weird sort of behavioural alchemy: They can transform an interesting task into a drudge.
People use rewards expecting to gain the benefit of increasing another person’s motivation and behaviour, but in doing so, they often incur the unintentional and hidden cost of undermining the person’s intrinsic motivation towards the activity.
The Principle Agent Theory – Rewards are addictive in that once offered, a contingent reward makes an agent expect it whenever a similar task is faced, which in turn compels the principal to use rewards over and over again.
Eg- pay your son to take out the trash and he will never do it for free, once the initial money buzz tapers off, you’ll likely have to increase the payment to continue compliance.
The very presence of goals may lead employees to focus myopically on short term gains and to lose sight of the potential devastating long term effects on the organization.
The approach for a rotuine task,
- Offer a rationale for why the task is necessary.
- Acknowledge that the task is boring.
- Allow people to complete the task their own way (Autonomy).
Any extrinsic reward should be unexpected and the only offered after the task is complete.
A better solution,
- Consider non-tangible rewards, praise and positive feedback are much less corrosive that cash and trophies.
- Provide useful information, the more feedback focuses on specifics and more the praise is about the effort and strategy, rather than about achieving a particular goal.
Self Determination theory – We have 3 innate psycological needs- competence, autonomy, relatedness. When these needs are satisfied, we are motivated, productive and happy.
One source of frustration in the workplace is the frequent mismatch of what people must do and what people can do.
Mundanity of Excellence – Those who did the best typically spend the most time and effort on the mundane activites that readied them for the races.
Between the words businesses use and the goals they seek, sit the policies they implement to turn the former into the latter.