Daniel Pink was the keynote speaker on day one of the ACEL Conference 2012 that I attended to present a workshop. He discussed education for the conceptual age and emphasised how routine work is disappearing. It prompted me to view his TED talk on motivation in contemporary organisations. As one of the 20 most-watched TED talks, over 4.5million hits, it was compelling viewing. He uses the ‘candle problem’ to make his case for moving from rewards based incentives (extrinsic motivation) to the building blocks of a new way of doing things (intrinsic motivation). Daniel’s view, that conceptual abilities and skills are critical in the 21st century, was a common thread linking his ACEL keynote and his TED talk.

He proposed that traditional management was great for compliance. Daniel asserted that to strengthen modern business we need to focus on 3 key things:

  1. autonomy
  2. mastery, and
  3. purpose.

Daniel used an Australian software company to support his argument and exemplify ‘intense autonomy’. He concludes that ‘carrot and stick’ motivation is a lazy idealogy and that we must embrace self-directed processes to motivate others! Brilliant stuff

Daniel’s presentation is well worth the 18mins of your time.

Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation