Explains why organizations preoccupied with control do not do well.

  1. Manitou says:

    This works only for high IQ people. It leaves out most of us.

  2. FRAGaLOT says:

    #1, You don’t need a high IQ to problem solve, otherwise we’d still be stuck in the stone age. Even the most intuitive people can be complete idiots.

  3. FRAGaLOT says:

    there’s one point in this video that makes sense but they don’t really expand on it. Once workers are paid enough, then money dosen’t become an issue.

    The point being is most workers work for the money so they can survive, and we all stress over money. Once the stress is gone then they can focus on the tasks they are given, and productivity ‘splodes!

  4. yankinwaoz says:

    He is spot on.

    He, or someone, is also a handy artist. I wish I could illustrate that well.

    This guy’s illustrations remind me a bit of Will Eisner and his cartoon format training manuals for the US Army (still published to day as “P*S Magazine” )

    The ability to use cartoons to both explain complex subjects and captivate and engage the audience is a rare skill indeed.

  5. usa1 says:

    Very cool topic and I LOVE the drawings. I don’t know if I agree with the conclusions. It sounds like it will be used as an excuse by management to cut incentive pay in the future. Peanut butter pay increases in the future.

  6. ArianeB says:

    The REAL point of this is that a major tenant of Conservatism… that market forces are the only driving force of productivity, is FALSE.

    It also proves conclusively that minimum wage laws WORK.

  7. MattG says:

    The book this lecture is based on, Drive (the author is the lecturer) is a good read if part of your job is to motivate people.

    If you like this style of lecture with cartoons the royal society puts out these regularly.

  8. chris says:

    #7 True.

    It also suggests that a progressive tax system isn’t a bad thing.

    Of course a progressive tax system allows government to function, and is thus anathema to modern “conservatives”.

    Destroying government is the agenda, so any evidence like this is only preaching to the choir.

    Look up: “Starve The Beast.”

  9. bobbo, not a student of the dismal science, but I am on a budget says:

    One issue would be that this model of human behavior only fits a subset of all people. Other subsets will steal rather than work. Others goof off. Lots of jobs have no need for creativity, or the creativity takes second place to ability to handle boredom.

    Anybody know what the “creativity task” was that failed on higher compensation? Video was totally vague there.

  10. Faxon says:

    Watching that drawing crap started to give me a fucking headache.

  11. deowll says:

    #6 Your second conclusion is utterly wrong especially for manual labor. They even say as much straight up front.

    If you want people to work hard doing manual labor working on production has been proven to get people who need money to work till they drop.

    I’ve been there and done it and it is not funny.

    The entire article was about how to motivate people doing creative work. You know the higher order cognitive domain work? The people who already had enough cash they felt secure and more money was less of a motivator. However I’m confident that even these people would be motivated if they felt they had major skin in the game.

    However one of the gotcha’s in the presentation was letting people work on what ever project they wished which actually meant work on any ideas they actually had rather than on some other selected project where they might be out of ideas.

  12. Cursor_ says:

    “Once workers are paid enough, then money doesn’t become an issue.”

    And there is where it all goes tits up when it comes to the corporation that fixates on profits.

    Which is most for-profit corporations.

    To pay workers well is the dream of all labor. It is the nightmare of all managers and business owners. As THEY LOVE to be paid what they are worth but do not want the same for others.

    Hence Bobbo’s chant, screw you I’ve got mine.

    Utopian ideal in the video, will never come true.


  13. Father says:

    Cognitive work seems to become more difficult / less productive the harder one tries to complete something. However, the people I know doing real cognitive work are “always” working, if not conciously then subconciously. The challenge is to put the mind on something relaxing so it can recover. I’m trying to understand a work problem right now, and it’s bugging the he’ll out of me.

    Physical / rote productivity increases with pratice, to a personal limit.

  14. Gildersleeve says:

    Breetai, I don’t think you mean that. Star Trek’s ‘universe’, or what little they show of it, is fascist.

    The conclusion that ‘pay enough so that money stops being an issue’ sounds good until you go to implement the idea. How much is enough? When I was a young adult, getting promoted with double the pay was enough money; until I had kids. Doubling it again was enough, until college. Then 9/11 happened and everyone seems to be getting 3% raises if they’re lucky. There is also the problem of perception of the job. When I started the current one, it was considered high skill and high wages. Now it’s considered less skilled and is outsourced more often, despite the fact the job requires new soft skills like people management, negotiating skills, not to mention the fact the same work has to be done with far fewer people. The best incentive I have is to get out of the job and possibly the career, because the work, while still vital to the performance of the organization, has been devalued and dis-incentivized. And it’s common across organizations all over America. How do you overcome these issues and provide incentive? Answer is; you can’t, when the economic trends point to replacing any kind of labor with cheaper alternatives. All of this stuff is dribble when the larger cultural drive is to displace the middle class entirely. No one actually wants to hire expensive thinkers.

  15. Gildersleeve says:

    Guys, Star Trek’s universe is fascist. Don’t go there.

  16. FRAGaLOT says:

    #13 it’s not utopian, there are people who work and do get paid well enough to the point they don’t stress over money, and I’m not talking about the rich either.

    But don’t expect this to happen with people who flip burgers. After all minimum wage was never intended to be something you can make a living off of, it’s just a starting point job when you’re still mooching off your parents.

  17. God says:


    Think about it. When you take away the struggles of survival like earning a living (paying the bills, etc.), what’s left for a person to do? The answer is to CREATE – or destroy. But the bigger question is for WHO?!

    The point here is that money has NOTHING to do with creating or destroying ANYTHING.

    I’ll even expand that a bit and say that Money is simply what you get for CONTRIBUTING and PRODUCING – and it’s a necessary evil in today’s societies too.

  18. Sea Lawyer says:

    #6, lol.

  19. Dennis says:

    The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value, and occasionally, a standard of deferred payment.

    It does not and should never denote a persons’ worth. It simply becomes a distraction initially, then ultimately it becomes the only reason and motivation.

  20. jescott418 says:

    I think this relates to people who go into business for themselves. They spend far more hours being self employed and maybe even make far less money. But I think its the fact they are doing it for themselves is the key.
    That has to be the big motivator. Doing it for yourself rather then feeling your doing it for a boss or a company.

  21. Smith says:

    I’m with Bobbo on this: “Anybody know what the ‘creativity task’ was that failed on higher compensation? Video was totally vague there.”

    His summation of the study results didn’t ring true. I agree that money fails as a motivator of creativity, but he implies that promises of monitary reward has the opposite effect, that it inhibits creativity … which is absurd. Do you really think that those people donating their work to Linux would stop if they recieved a check in the mail as a reward for their effort?

    It’s being told where to apply your creativity that fails; which is why the old Bell Labs was such a huge success. “You look like a bright lad. Here’s a paycheck, laboratory, and a budget… give us a research proposal and we’ll check back every few months to see how your project is coming along.”

  22. Ultraslug says:

    This is Dan Pink. He provided more detail in his TED talk on this topic last year.


  23. Researcher says:

    Interesting. There’s no mention of WHY people didn’t perform well on creative/cognitive tasks when offered the largest amount of money. The speaker goes on to purport (through a variety of examples) that creative work occurs spontaneously for free when given the chance, implying that people simply didn’t “care” about the money. But maybe they did–too much–so much that they stressed themselves to the point of not being able to perform under that amount of pressure. Basically, classic performance anxiety. The way the speaker explains it, he makes it sound as if NONE of the people who were offered the largest amount of money performed well, but it’s more likely that as far as group experiments go it was just the lowest percentage of people in all 3 groups to receive the money.

    If they had simply monitored for CRF release during the experiments, stress levels could easily be measured. Or maybe they did, but the speaker negated to include that information.

  24. Hmeyers says:

    Congrats to those of you who just figured this out.

    This study means nothing, by the way.

    The reason it means nothing is communism and capitalism can’t co-habitate.

    Communism is a failed system.

    Capitalism is a system on the verge of failure ($15 trillion in debt, dysfunctional corporations looting the USA, dysfunctional political system catering to dysfunctional corporations to aid and albeit corporational gutting of USA, inept governmental organizations).

    You can’t mix communism and capitalism. If you can you are the first alchemist.

    Don’t forget that giving away your work screws the government — they can’t tax it. It is the ultimate FU to the system. They can’t even regulate it. It is LOL funny.

    I’d say more but in the absence of an economy, it doesn’t mean the absence of creation … just the absence of a taxable one.

    It’s fun to mix creation knowing it helps destruction of failed political system by being untaxable and unregulatable and making the world a better place.

  25. aslightlycrankygeek says:

    #3 FTW
    #6 Fail

    People will still switch jobs for better pay, no matter how much they are paid, unless they love what they are doing. For most jobs, people are never going to love what they are doing. Only about half the jobs out there require any real cognitive skills.

    This video applies to keeping people happy once they are in the workplace and earning enough money. If they are job hunting or not content and work, money is still king.

    Good video- interesting stuff.


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