When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and business does. Our current business operating system — which is built around external, carrot and stick motivators–doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade, and the science shows the way.
This new approach has three essential elements:
- Autonomy*-*the desire to direct our own lives;
- Mastery-the urge to make progress and get better at something that matters; and
- Purpose-the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
Peoples happiest and most satisfying experiences happen while in Flow
- Goals are clear
- Feedback is immediate
- The challenge is neither too easy nor too hard
Set an alarm to randomly go off on your phone 8 times a day, for 5 days
- Immediately record what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, and whether you’re in “flow”
Observe the patterns that will emerge
- How do you find flow?
- Where? When? What? Who?
- Could your day be structured from this?
- How can you increase flow and decrease “anti-flow”?
- What does this tell you about your intrinsic motivation?
Getting into, or back into, Flow
Develop a set of cards with simple statements or questions that would prod one back into working
- Some examples: What would your best friend do? Your mistake was a hidden intention. What is the simplest solution? Repetition is a form of change. Don’t avoid what is easy.
- Can buy a premade deck at www.enoshop.co.uk
- Can also check a certain twitter
Make your own motivational poster
List behaviors that sap energy, divert focus, and ought to be avoided.
Re-make this list every week to keep it relevant
Mastery is a mindset: It requires the capacity to see your abilities not as finite, but as infinitely improvable. Mastery is a pain: it demands effort, grit, and deliberate practice. And Mastery is an asymptote: It’s impossible to fully realize, which makes it both frustrating and alluring.
Practice to improve performance, not just to practice
- Change goals as necessary, always shoot higher each time
Constant Honest Feedback
- You have to know where you are to know where to go
Focus on what needs work
- Don’t focus on what’s already strong
It will be exhausting, be prepared
At the beginning of the month, set performance and learning goals
At the end of the month, have a personal performance review
Set small and large goals for small wins and big aspirations
Give every goal purpose
Be entirely honest
Results Only Work Environments (ROWEs)
No set number of hours to meet
Only have to get the job done
Everyone at every level stops doing anything that is a waste of their time, the customer’s time, or the company’s time
20 Percent Time
Employees can spend 20% of their time working on any project they choose
Does not have to be work related
Has given birth to things such as Post-Its, Google News, and GMail
Could be applied to personal life, spend 20% of work time on random tasks, or 20% of time in general
Lead with questions, not answers
Engage in dialogue and debate, not coercion
Conduct autopsies without blame
Build “red flag” mechanisms, make it easy for people to speak up when they see a problem
“Now That” Rewards
Rewards offered “Now That” a task has been completed
Safer than if-then rewards
Acknowledge achievement instead of attempting to force it
Use of “Why”
People sometimes need help finding intrinsic motivation
Showing them the benefit of their work can help develop intrinsic motivation
If you had to define your goals with one sentence, what would it be?
i.e. “She taught two generations of children how to read” or “He invented a device that made peoples’ lives easier”
A Daily Question
“Was I a little better today than yesterday?”
What wake you up and keeps you up
Get some blank 3×5 cards
Write what gets you up in the morning on one side
Write what keeps you up at night on the other
Keep them both one sentence
Keep trying until you have something you can live by, that gives you meaning and direction
We vs. They
You can get an idea of a company environment by asking people their questions about it
If they respond with “we” when referring to the company, it’s good
If they use “they,” it’s bad
“If you set a goal of becoming an expert in your business, you would immediately start doing all kinds of things you don’t do now”
“What do you do if you wake up in the morning and dread going to work, because the daily routine no longer satisfies your standards”
“Do rewards motivate people? Absolutely. They motivate people to get rewards“