What to do in situations wherein IF-THEN extrinsic rewards are a mistake?

IF-THEN extrinsic rewards have the sole purpose of short term benefits by stimulating desired behavior or compliance for doing routine bound , dreary tasks.

Upon realization that an environment is not suited for IF-THEN rewards , extrinsic rewards should be made unexpected and offered only when the task is complete.

In other words , where IF-THEN awards are a mistake , shift to NOW-THAT rewards.

Adopted from Daniel Pink’s book Drive

Doing these can make routine work interesting

For stimulating Routine , dreary , boring work and making them interesting in the modern day of the knowledge worker age needs a different treatment wherein awards need to be focused on NOW-THAT rather than IF-THEN.

The following three approaches when applied to boring , dull and routine work can encourage workers to give their best encouraging engagement rather than pure compliance.

  1. Offer a rationale for why the task is necessary
  2. Acknowledge that the task is boring
  3. Allow people to complete the task their own way

Adopted from Daniel Pink’s book Drive

These are some of the most harmful sins of Motivation 2.0

Motivation 2.0 where extrinsic rewards is the hero is another name for Carrot and Stick Method , coined by Daniel Pink in his book Drive.

The following are some of the deadly sins of Motivation 2.0 and extrinsic reward based motivation –

  1. They can extinguish INTRINSIC MOTIVATION
  2. They can CRUSH CREATIVITY
  3. They can ENCOURAGE CHEATING , SHORTCUTS and unethical behavior
  4. They encourage ADDICTION

Adopted from Daniel Pink’s book Drive

Understanding the negative impacts of extrinsic rewards

Via fMRI techniques it has been observed by doctors the world over that extrinsic rewards act as an enticement to addict humans in order to pursue risk seeking behavior.

The enticement of rewards stimulate the flow of dopamine and excite an area of brain known as Nucleus Accumbens.Since this is a dopamine driven addiction hence the effect is short lived.

Just like with any other addiction , only the temporary excitement is over the mind seeks more of the pleasure.

Adopted from Daniel Pink’s book Drive , this shows the harmful impacts that extrinsic rewards can cause in our lives.

Motivational techniques for stimulating creative and innovative work

Creative and innovative work need a new motivational technique , named as Motivation 3.0 by Daniel Pink in his book Drive.

For stimulating creativity and innovation , extrinsic rewards can hardly be the solution since money cannot buy true will.

So what is required is providing the requisite autonomy to stimulate the mastery driven by a sense of purpose.This model is based on Intrinsic Motivation and has been coined as Motivation 3.0 by Daniel Pink in his book Drive.

Motivational techniques for stimulating routine work

Routine bound work , dreary , mundane work is something we associate with work that is outsourced to developing countries as well as factories the world over.

Since the work is routine , monotonous hence workers need to be continuously motivated to drive desired results.

For Left Brain oriented work where work is routine and boring , extrinsic awards have been the way to go over the years.

The rationale behind this is that Rewards would stimulate desired behavior and compliance whereas punishment would limit non compliance.

This has been mentioned in great details , as Motivation 2.0 by Daniel Pink in his book Drive

These are the Five Steps towards Mastery

The five steps towards Mastery which is an essential component of the modern day intrinsically motivated Motivation 3.0 model , involves the following 5 components:

  1. Deliberate practice has only one objective – to improve performance
  2. Repeat , repeat and repeat again and again
  3. Seek constant and critical feedback
  4. Focus ruthlessly on where you need help
  5. Prepare for the process to be mentally and physically exhausting

Adopted from Daniel Pink’s book Drive

This is how PRAISE can stimulate intrinsic motivation

Praise is a very important tool at the hands of Great Leaders and when used in the right manner can drive intrinsically motivated behavior.

The following 4 ways is when PRAISE can stimulate Type I , intrinsically motivated behavior.

  1. Praise effort and strategy , not intelligence
  2. Make praise specific
  3. Praise in private
  4. Offer praise only when there is a good reason for it

Adopted from Daniel Pink’s book Drive

How to Promote Goldilocks for groups?

To build a high performance team based on intrinsic motivation we can promote goldilocks for groups based on the following 4 principles:

  1. Begin with a “diverse” team
  2. Make the group a “no competition” zone
  3. From time to time try task-shifting
  4. Animate with PURPOSE , do not MOTIVATE with REWARDS

Adopted from Daniel Pink’s book Drive