May 16, 2010

What are people driven by?

In this NZZ interview with Mr. Brady W. Dougan, CEO of Credit Suisse, I heard Mr. Dougan say the following:
”Our compensation systems were an important aspect of us being able to deliver that kind of performance through a very challenging period..”

The remarks by Mr. Dougan raise an interesting question: What are people driven by? In this regard, I came across some interesting experiences / studies:

# 1
Reading this article, I learned about what the management of BMW has discovered: The people, who work for BMW, are intrinsically motivated people who do not need carrots in order to be able to move.

# 2
In this 4½ minute video, Gary Hamel mentions that initiative, creativity, and passion, that create wealth in the creative economy, cannot be commanded.

# 3
In this 1 minute video, Alfie Kohn explains that the more you reward students for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest.

# 4
In this Time article, I read about the findings of Edward Deci. Mr. Deci’s research shows that money - like other tangible rewards - does not work very well to motivate people over the long term, particularly for tasks that involve creativity.

# 5
In this 2 minute video, Tom Malone talks about the importance of focusing on intrinsic motivation in an economy that is driven by knowledge.

# 6
In this McKinsey Quarterly article, I learned that non-financial incentives are more effective than financial incentives. In particular, praise and commendation from immediate manager is a considerably more effective incentive than the most effective financial incentives.

# 7
Via this blog posting by Joe Bower, I came across an 11 minute video about Daniel H. Pink’s book Drive. Watching the video, I learned, for example, this: For simple, straight forward, mechanical tasks, you can force a higher performance by paying people more money / using the carrot-and-stick approach. However, when a task gets more complicated, when it requires some conceptual creative thinking, these kinds of motivators don’t work. Watching the video, I also learned that there are 3 factors which lead to better performance and personal satisfaction:
1. Autonomy, i.e. the desire to be self directed.
2. Mastery, i.e. the urge to get better.
3. Purpose.

# 8
At the end of the 4 minute video below, Mr. Peter Brabeck explains that sometimes, financial institutions have been forgetting what their real roles in society should be.

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