Tag Archives: Motivation 3.0

Avatar: Motivation 3.0 for an Evolved Community

After a day of food and fun with our granddaughter, the undisputed center of the household at the moment (when she is in town), we settled down to watch Avatar.  (Yes, I had seen it at the theater).

There are a lot of ways to look at this film.  Here is one:  it is the battle between Motivation 2.0 and Motivation 3.0 (Daniel Pink’s terms).  The context:  the corporate profit seekers need the Navi to move away from their beautiful home, in order to turn a greater profit.

Selfridge: "Find me a carrot to get them to move, or it's going to have to be all stick."

Here’s the relevant dialogue (from the script, found here):

JAKE
So — who talks them into moving?

QUARITCH
Guess.

JAKE
What if they won’t go?

QUARITCH
I’m betting they will.

SELFRIDGE
Killing the indigenous looks bad, but there’s one thing shareholders hate more
than bad press — and that’s a bad quarterly statement. Find me a carrot to
get them to move, or it’s going to have to be all stick. (emphasis added).

Jake is shaken by the enormity of this new responsibility.

QUARITCH
You got three months.    That’s when the dozers get there.

JAKE
I’m on it.

Selfridge, the “company man,” is the one who uses the imagery of carrots and sticks.  Here is his character bio from imdb:

Parker Selfridge is the “company man” on Pandora, the Chief Administrator for RDA. He’s in charge of all the mining operations on the planet and determined not the let the ‘natives’ stand in his way. He’d like to use diplomacy- largely because it looks better from a PR standpoint- but is prepared to use force if necessary.

Well, if you have seen Avatar, you know that carrots and sticks did not win the day.  The Navi are fully devoted Motivation 3.0 followers, finding their motivation from within, true intrinsic motivation – motivation that leads them to the greatest of sacrifice.

So, yes, as I watched the movie I thought of the motivation insight from Daniel Pink’s DRiVE:  The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.  Here is his own twitter summary of his book (in Pink’s own words, from the end of the book):

“Carrots & sticks are so last century.  Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery, & purpose.”

I think it is interesting that in the midst of the story of Avatar, James Cameron reveals just how outmoded carrots and sticks are in an evolved community.

One Size Fits All; Right?! – Not Any More (Motivation 3.0 Has Arrived)

One Size Fits All; Right?! – Not Any More.  This is true in so many ways.  And one way is “motivation.”  In the old days, the days that Daniel Pink calls Motivation 2.0, motivation was simple.  Carrots and sticks. Going back to the days of Frederick Winslow Taylor:

You simply rewarded the behavior you sought and punished the behavior you discouraged.  The way to improve performance, increase productivity, and encourage excellence is to reward the good and punish the bad.  Rewarding an activity will get you more of it.  Punishing an activity will get you less of it.

But we have now moved into the new era of Motivation 3.0.  This is the premise of the book DRiVE:  The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink.  For much of the working population, we still need to use the carrot & stick/rewards approach.  In fact, Karl, my colleague at the First Friday Book Synopsis, presented a synopsis of the practical book, Make Their Day:  Employee Recognition that Works by Cindy Ventrice.  One key piece of advice is this:  “recognize unique contributions with personalized recognition.” And the book has tangible ways to make this work to maximum effect.  This is common, common-sense advice.  (It is also a critical part of the plan recommended in the terrific book Encouraging the Heart by Kouzes and Posner).

But, for the newest “heuristic” workers (Pink’s term), there must be a new understanding of and approach to motivation.  Here is my attempt to summarize the key findings in Pink’s book:

The Three Elements

Of Motivation 3.0

What This Might Mean/

Might Look Like

Autonomy:  a renaissance of self-direction “ROWE” – Results Only Work Environment – everyone is/has to be/wants to be a self-starting, self-directing person
Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters (only engagement leads to mastery) (to learn, to create, to better the world) Individuals always keep learning.  With deliberate practice.  (the 10,000 hour rule, with deliberate practice — deep, deepening abilities)
Purpose:  very simply, doing something that matters because it should matter; something done in the service of something larger than ourselves Either have a product/service that matters; or, provide “work time” to do something that matters…

And here is Pink’s own “twitter length” summary of his book:

“Carrots & sticks are so last century.  Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery, & purpose.”

Who should read the Pink book?  If you work alone, and you have to be your own self-starting, self-directed worker, you should read it.  If the people you supervise are heuristic workers, you should read it.

And what is a heuristic job – any job that requires creativity, any job that creates something “new.”  From the book:

Working as a grocery checkout clerk is mostly algorithmic.  You do pretty much the same thing over and over in a certain way.  Creating an ad campaign is mostly heuristic.  You have to come up with something new…

Whatever your own job, you should read it.  Because, more and more, you will have to rely on internal/intrinsic motivation.  Because, in my opinion, “carrots and sticks” will slowly disappear from the scene.  Because, to quote Pink again:

…in today’s environment, people have to be ever more self-directed.  “If you need me to motivate you, I probably won’t hire you.”

—————————-

{To watch Dan Pink speaking on the key principles found in this book, from a recent Ted Conference, go here).

(I presented my synopsis of Drive this morning at the First Friday Book Synopsis. The two synopses from this morning will be available soon, with audio + handout, at our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com.  And, Encouraging the Heart is available on the site now).