Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation

August 26, 2009 — 6 Comments

Dan Pink’s talk is now up on TED.com. Here is what I said about it in my post about TED Global:

The last design thinking related talk of the conference was by Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind and Free Agent Nation. Dan is writing a new book on the scientifically proven point that intrinsic rewards are far more effective than extrinsic rewards for motivating creative, innovative behavior. Of course anyone who has run a creative organization has always known this but what Dan will no doubt do is get through to the 99% of leaders running companies who still believe that the carrot and the stick is the right way to promote innovation.

Tim Brown


6 responses to Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation

  1. Hi,

    Good to read this. Please note the Ford Explorer is making a new life in bumpy roads of my my country in a place where people usually imported vehicles from Europe. They are however now discovering the cost of such vehicles in times of high energy cost and many people are putting their cars… back to the market!

    Anyway I am happy to comment, once had a cse study on your company at MIT. Thanks, IT

  2. I think you would have made a good lawyer since you obviously made your case.

    Although I fear managers will conveniently gloss over your brief line about needing to pay employees well – in order to eliminate their concern over money – and then wonder why it’s not working. lol!

    But what a great summary about the changes in management that MUST take place in order to compete and succeed in the 21st century.

  3. If you’re interested, Alfie Kohn wrote “Punished by Rewards” in 1993. Kohn’s observations were focused on the detrimental effects of rewards on learning and education. It’s only taken 16 years for someone of note to apply similar tenants to the work environment. Others have come close. Marcus Buckingham comes to mind. In 1999, he published “First, Break All the Rules” a book of ROWE case studies (for lack of a better term), but didn’t dig into the “why” people were more motivated.

    Thanks for pointing at the TED talk. It made my day.

  4. Hi,

    I agree totally with mr Pink on the issue of intrinsic rewarding. I even think that it can go a lot further than applying it just in business. For example think about international aid, were we are still too much using the carrot and stick approach instead of encouraging people to take responsibilty of their own problems and facilitate the solutions they come up with. I think if we encourage people to do what they believe in and as such let them take responsibility a lot more will happen.

  5. Hey there!

    It’s good to know that people like Dank Pink get the message even to the large corporations. Especially for people who work there! :-)

    Greetings and have an awesome day,

  6. i like this post so much. thanks for sharing.

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