July 1, 2010

Great Animation on Motivation

This video is going round the web, but very interesting.

The message is that higher incentives lead to poorer performance on even basic cognitive tasks. Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose lead to better performance, once you take the issue of money off the table.

RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

The main point is to think about how you can provide your team with more autonomy, more time to achieve mastery on specific skills, and provide everyone with a clear purpose.

UPDATE: Check out this long and interesting post from Michael Feldstein Sakai Conference: Kamenetz Keynote http://bit.ly/cNigzC He takes the ideas from a keynote from Anya Kamenetz at the Sakai Conference and compares them to Dan Pink's ideas.  There is a lot of information here, but some interesting things to consider if you are familiar or have time to go through them. 


  1. Hi Lee:

    Thank you for your discernment in posting this absolutely delightful presentation. I thought it was fascinating on at least two levels.

    First: the premise of the content itself; that in performance of cognitive tasks, money is less motivating of excellent performance that other factors such as mastery, autonomy, and contribution, has huge implications. I'd heard of this previously, but did not know the science proving this had progressed as far as this video suggests. If true (since true), maybe the whole way rewards are structured in hierarchies like corporations needs a big overhaul. For me personally, as a research compliance trainer, the implication is that I need to re-think how to put more autonomy and mastery into the curriculum for highly autonomous, creative researchers.

    Second: the use of white-board cartoon graphics at compressed speed to support the narrative was probably among the most effective, creative visuals I've ever seen in support of the audio information being imparted. WOW. How creative! The cartoons themselves were great, but synchronizing as they did to the real-time discussion was like a conceptual power-feed. It made the points approachable and memorable. Plus, I think there is research supporting that low-intensity graphics, like cartoons, actually enhance learning by providing less cognitive overload and invite mental participation to kind of complete the imagery. Anyway, that was truly great. I wish that was easier to emulate. I'm sure that was far more work than meets the eye.

    So, this is the second blog post I've ever done in my life (first was a political one some time ago).

    (I am helping my wife with a homework assignment that involves reading material in the book "Groundswell." We had to pick a couple blogs out of the Google search "Top 100 education blogs, and are supposed to compare them. This has been educational for a novice.)

    I wanted to thank you for selecting such worthwhile material to share. I would not have come across it otherwise.

  2. I already saw this video I think I watch it 4 times and it's really true. I told myself that if only I could let my boss see this I think it can help him realize how important to treat his/her people right


  3. Very nice video and post!
    It's very true.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. I really enjoyed this video. It makes a lot of sense, I think this type of video can not only affect people in the workplace but it can be utilized as a teaching strategy in classrooms as well. Many teachers say to students "if you do this then, you will get this" However, that reward may not be something that necessarily motivates students to want to do well. It is much more important to allow students the options of what they want to do and how they want to complete it. Giving them ownership and authority makes them more motivated rather than just being told what to do all of the time.
    I also really enjoyed watching the graphics be drawn. This kept me very engaged rather than just having to read it on my own. It also assisted in helping me to follow the post and actually understand what was being explained.