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The library of essays of Proakatemia

To do it for the money, or to do it for the joy of the task?



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To do it for the money, or to do it for the joy of the task?

 

Drive – The surprising truth about what motivates us by the author Daniel H. Pink is an idea awakening book about motivation and what drives people to be more efficient. The book introduces tools to higher level of satisfaction and unveils secrets to achieve higher performance and with the help of some good examples from modern companies and psychological studies, he encourages us to direct our own lives.

 

“The monkeys solved the puzzle simply because they found it gratifying to solve puzzles. They enjoyed it. The joy of the task was its own reward.” – Daniel H. Pink

 

This book pointed out some ideas about how modern world operates and has been working for a good while in the field of motivating people at work; many of the topics the author Daniel H. Pink covers in his peace are something that I have been wondering in my own head yet only now I have started to realize my observations more clearly.

 

I learnt many useful methods to improve my own productivity and how to motivate people towards good results. In this book the author introduces concept of motivation 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 where the first is our natural urges (need of food and shelter) 2.0 stands for existing economic structure where we are driven by extrinsic factors. Motivation 3.0 is more about self-direction and autonomy, which doesn’t require management in the way that we are used to e.g. outside force who sets goals which may narrow our focus and prevent innovations and lead us in unethical behavior simply to reach our goals. And I can relate to this idea since it has been very important for me to be able to do something that I enjoy and that the motivation arises from inside of me, not from outside. To quote Brad Anderson: “I want to contribute rather than grind out my days.”

 

I have experience in managerial work and I have been in many trainings which have provided good tools to motivate and direct manage people, but I’m confident that I found some good tips from this book; the way of giving people instructions wit layout like “if you finish this properly then you can have a coffee brake” is not very efficient way to awake positive feelings. Instead it’s more, well polite, to go with “now that you have done this well, you could have your coffee break”. This is just one of the tools the book provides to improve our ways of communicating and building a better working community.

 

Drive introduced me a whole new strategy for human resourcing called ROWE – Results Only Work Environment which ditches the old fashioned way of fixed working hours and focuses only on achieving goals that matter. This strategy gives people the flexibility to adjust their personal lives and maximizing the productivity and capacity of theirs. I found this very intriguing and found out that there are already many big companies that at least partially recognizes the benefits of this strategy which helps people to find their jobs less stressful. Only issue is that these environments aren’t compatible with every industry such as medical institutions or retail stores, which are by far very time-consuming jobs. Anyhow, for me the ROWE is by far the most pleasant strategy to improve motivation in offices in my opinion.

I find myself thinking also this in entrepreneurial perspective; entrepreneurs are in a way forced to work towards results without the luxury of fixing hours. You could simplify the ROWE as an entrepreneurial mindset, of course there is difficulties when generalizing things but I feel like it is to provoke certain mindset in working community. It is like intrapreneurship, behaving like entrepreneur inside a company. The ability to combine these behaviors and methods allows us to work in self-motivating and flexible working environment, and is the right direction in working culture is evolving.

 

Let me get little sidetracked for a moment. I could not start to think of digitalization and robotizing and how it might affect to our jobs in the near future. Daniel H. Pink thinks that there is possibility to replace algorithmic work with modern technology since it is very routine, it can be automated and outsourced. However heuristic work is far more complicated to automate because it requires active thinking, fast reactions to various situations and is non- routine. This heuristic work includes everything that needs social communication and human interaction. I think that is why we will not see digitalized sales persons or elderly care professionals in the near future because human interaction is something that is impossible to be replaced.

 

To get back in the topic of motivation and performance, the book presented two types of people based on their behavior; Type X and Type I. Type X persons are fueled more by extrinsic factors than something that stems from inside, intrinsic desire. They are driven by external rewards and tend on doing just what is asked rather than joying what they do. The introduced Type I is fueled with more intrinsic factors and they tend to seek joy and purpose in their doing and self-satisfaction. I would not be completely this exact and categorize people in two specific groups, nevertheless we all should seek our inner drive and in order to do that we would need to shake ourselves a bit and start to be more active, learn to live more trough intrinsic desires.

 

I understand this idea of behavior based categorization because I’m able to recognize some features from myself; I will give my full attention and capacity into something that I desire, something that I want to master. If we could give more room for this, give autonomy for people, in the economic world we would be able to perform much better in what we do, and gain higher levels of satisfaction. This is also something that makes money more irrelevant, not completely useless but more like a secondary motive, a way to move toward your purpose. I think that to gain mastery in something, it needs to be something close to your heart, and when doing something important to you daily promotes greater physical and especially mental well-being.

 

There is lot of ways to improve our own and others motivation and they might not even need a complete life change but if we give room for trust and intrinsic factors, and acknowledge what truly gets us up at morning, what is the real reward of doing something, we could achieve more and live richer life, both in money and in well-being. Why would we do something only for the reward when the joy of the task itself could be part of the reward.

 

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