Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another review on Daniel Pink's talk on the Surprising Science of Motivation

As I mentioned last week I've started having my daughters watch TED Talks. My oldest daughter watched Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation.

Here is her review of the talk:

This week I watched a TED talk by Daniel Pink about the science of motivation. In this talk he presented a study done with the Candle Problem. In this study they had two groups.  Group one was told they would be measuring them for norms. Group two was told that those who solved the problem in the top 20% would have a $20 reward. Surprisingly group two on average took three and a half minutes longer that group one.

This study has been duplicated over the years, all with similar results and what they have found is that rewards narrows focus and limits creativity. So for simple rudimentary jobs carrot on a stick works well but for jobs that require ingenuity rewards hinder and distract and causes poorer results.

In Australia there is a software company called Atlassian that once a year has something they call ‘Fed Ex’ days. That is for 24 hours they can work on anything they want and at the end of the day they present it to there coworkers. This they found increases productivity and creativity when they are allowed to work where they want to.

Also Google has implemented something called 20% time where they let there employs work on what they want for 20% of the time. In the past years half of what Google produces is from that 20% time.

These examples show us that financial rewards can limit and reduce productivity when people are working on creative activities.

If you haven't seen the video, it is worth watching:

Again, if you have any suggestions on your favorite TED talks, please tell me.

No comments: