Pink notes

The candle problem: functional fixedness.

The power of incentives: rewards for solving the candle problem. $5/$20. How much faster did the incentivised group solve the problem? They took 3.5 mins longer. Contingent motivators – block/dull creativity. Don’t work/do harm.

If/then rewards work well for simple tasks. Rewards/incentives narrow the focus. Restricts possibility.

For so many tasks, if/then rewards don’t work. THIS IS A TRUE FACT.

Dan Ariely – economist – MIT students – games – creativity, concentration skills, motivation. A larger reward led to poorer performance: higher incentives led to worse performance.


Management – if you want engagement, self-direction works better.

Atlassian – do anything you want…FEDEX days…20% time…About half of new products are produced during that 20%.

ROWE: results only work environment. Productivity goes up, worker satisfaction goes up &etc.

Wikipedia vs Encarta
Intrinsic motivators, autonomy, mastery and purpose wins over extrinsic motivators, carrots and sticks.

If/Then rewards destroy creativity.

Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation – transcript