Having been in business for a while I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what motivates people and what I can be doing to help increase their motivation. I wonder how they get excited about what they do or what outside forces motivate them to want to do more. I have seen the Carrot and Stick work, and I have seen when it did not push people to do better. This made me wonder if it was the people, the culture or other factors that didn’t follow the traditional Carrot and Stick model.

I’ve read some of Daniel Pink’s work in the past, but when he wrote Drive I was excited to see what he had to say about motivation and what drives people to want to do better.

The research says that what worked before is what he is calling Motivation 2.0, and is relevant in an industrial world of parts and pieces. This model isn’t so relevant in the newer Motivation 3.0, where knowledge and creativity are the output you are trying to motivate.

Pink says that these 3 elements are necessary for Motivation 3.0: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

When you have Autonomy, you have freedom in the task at hand, freedom in the time required to complete the task, and freedom within the team working together on that task.

When you have Mastery, people are in “flow” with the work they are doing. They do it with engagement, aspiring to a level of mastery, but knowing that it is hard work and will always be short of fully reachable.

When you have Purpose, there is a cause that is bigger than the individual; it allows the extra effort to be pulled out of people that goes beyond the effort for just a paycheck.

Check out this really cool video that really helps to understand these key points to Motivation 3.0: If you are a creative and knowledge based company, have you noticed issues around motivation? Could the incorporation of more autonomy, mastery, and purpose in your company help?