On interest / disinterest ( 2 )

On interest / disinterest ( 2 )

I ran into a couple of instances whereby there was a need to incentivize or de-incentivize team members with certain extrinsic actions ( carrots and sticks ) . In the book Drive by Daniel Pink, the author talks extensively about what truly motivates us, and argues that human motivation is largely intrinsic. It is a widely read book and I highly recommend it.

I won’t be going into the details of the book here since you can just pick it up online or from a bookstore. Here are some of the recent applications for myself after reading the book.

  1. Mastery in application of management – how can we help someone realize what act they want to be good at , point out how they can improve and give feedback to show the progress of it.
  2. Purpose in application of a company’s mission – how can we dumb down the mission so much that it is irrefutable digestible yet inspiring.
  3. Autonomy in application of daily work – this was particularly a tricky one to balance since most startups are not in the exploration phase like Netflix/Google whereby they have unlimited resources and need breakthrough ideas to stay as a market leader. Out of the 4 Ts : Task , Time , Technique and Team — time was easiest followed by technique.

In regards to carrots and sticks : we removed as carrots as much as possible as a reward to a cause but give them out as a celebration ( unexpected rewards create lesser negative implications )

There was hardly a good cause for carrots or sticks in our team — if sticks were needed, it was mostly that it wasn’t the right fit for the team.

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