#ideas10 Closing General Session

09Mar10

There are three drives: Rewards/Punishments,  Instinctual Drives (Carnal, Hunger, etc.), Motivation

We respond to rewards & punishment. Rewards encourage the behavior, punishments discourage the behavior.

We also do things because they are interesting.

Higher rewards lead to worse performance.

Contingent motivators work well for simple tasks, rule based tasks, etc. The contingent motivators actually narrow your focus. If you are trying to achieve a complicated, creative task, you need to open your focus and try a different type of motivator.

Punishments… You want to demotivate the natural reaction is to punish. Financial punishments actually don’t deter the behavior, b/c you can just “buy more”.

Assumptions that are detrimental to the way we run organizations:

1. Humans are simple machines.

2. Humans are simply blobs. (fundamentally passive & inert)

A far more promising path is to believe that people are active & engaged.

Money is a motivator. They need to feel like they are adequately compensated or they do the minimal amount of work needed not to be fired.

3 motivators:

Autonomy (Takeaway: 20 percent time w/ training wheels or 10 percent time)

Management is an excellent technology for compliance, for engagement they need technology of self-direction. Autonomy over: time, technique, team, task and you will get better performance out of staff & volunteers.

The idea of giving people 20 percent of their time to work on whatever they want supports innovation & engagement. A cash reward just creates activity because everyone is focused on the cash.

Mastery (Takeaway: DIY Performance Reviews)

We like to get better at stuff.

People are more satisfied with their station when they are making progress. Enjoyment-based intrinsic motivation is the strongest & most pervasive driver. (i.e. Linux, Apache, Firefox)

DIY Performance Reviews – Set out your goals and analyze what you’ve done honestly. What do you need to get better at this? Small groups can also be a more comfortable alternative.

Purpose (Takeaway: Associations have this one in the bag if we utilize it properly)

They want to give back. Associations have this built into their very nature, harness it and use it.

Claire Booth Luce: Every great man is a sentence.

Every great organization in a sentence. (or a mantra?)

What’s your sentence? Why are you here, what are you doing?

Was I better today than yesterday? (the answer is allowed to be no, but rarely will you find it no two days in a row)

Let’s change the world.

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