Our Internal Drive
According to Daniel H. Pink, in his book, Drive, people are not motivated by external motivators, or rewards. Instead, people are motivated by internal factors. Once basic needs are met, people are more motivated by a desire for mastery and a sense of autonomy toward a specific purpose. In the following paragraphs I will give supporting information regarding motivation and key factors to reach full motivation.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, motivation is a “force or influence that causes someone to do something” (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motivation). Human motivation consists of the need to survive, the desire for rewards and to avoid punishment. Motivating performance based on external motivations, such as rewards and punishments for behaving a certain way, are no longer seen as effective. Instead, it is intrinsic motivators, such as finding joy in completing a task, that will continually motivate a person in their work.
Extrinsic motivators are found to diminish a persons’ motivation. Pink refers to the fact that carrots and sticks are not effective by calling it the Sawyer Effect (Pink, Pg. 35). The Sawyer Effect sees the counteractive results of extrinsic incentives and explains that obliging someone to do something can turn play into work, but not obliging someone to do something can turn work into play.
According to Pink, there are Seven Deadly Flaws when it comes to extrinsic motivators. The first is that it can “extinguish intrinsic motivation” (Pink, pg. 57). Reward can become the reason that a person completes the task and, in turn, kill the intrinsic enjoyment of the task itself. External rewards can favor short-term gains and unintentionally undermine intrinsic motivation, which leads to long-term consequences in performance. Extrinsic motivators can also diminish performance (Pink, Pg. 57). In a study where people were offered a small, medium, or large financial incentive to complete a task, one would think that those offered a larger financial incentive would perform at a higher capacity. Interestingly, it was found that the “higher incentives led to worse performance” (Ariely, Gnezzy, Lowenstein, Mazar, 2005). Pink also mentions that extrinsic motivators can “crush creativity” (Pink, pg. 57). The desire to do something because it is interesting or challenging is important in creativity. “Rewards narrow people’s focus and blinkered the wide view that might have allowed them to see new uses for old objects” (Pink, pg. 42). Furthermore, “artists reported feeling significantly more constrained when doing commissioned works than when doing non-commissioned works” (Pink, pg. 43). When extrinsic motivators are involved, those motivators narrow the individual’s ability to look outside of the task and use their talent and creativity. Extrinsic motivators can also “crowd out good behavior” (Pink, pg. 57). Doing something good can be rewarding in and...