Surprising Truths About Motivations

Do you know the RSA Animate technique? Have you seen it before? This is a great example, and it’s also a good business lesson, about motivation.

What’s surprising? Well, to start out, money doesn’t motivate people to do thinking tasks better. It does for simple mechanical tasks — people work harder for more money — but not for real work, cognitive tasks, thinking, and taking responsibility. So say the studies.

As soon as you get to thinking and managing work, what motivates people is autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Interesting sidelight, that rings really true to me: money does matter. You have to pay enough for people to not be worried about money. To motivate people, you have to take the money problem off the table first. But money alone doesn’t motivate.

If you can’t see it here, click this link for the original on Youtube. And when you’re there, by the way, take a look at the other RSA Animate videos around there. There are several other extremely interesting examples.

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