Some of you may have seen the brilliant animation on Daniel Pink's Drive talk, which is currently doing the rounds on the Internet. If you haven't yet seen it, I highly recommend stopping for 10 minutes and checking it out now. I'll even keep this post nice and short to encourage you to go and do this! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc]
Interestingly, Daniel Pink concludes that the three best motivators or drivers for humans are autonomy, mastery and purpose.
He believes that if we create organisations that allow more freedom for employees, that allow them to grow in mastery of their skill and ability, and that connect their work with a larger purpose - then these employees will not only increase their productivity, but will also have more satisfying lives.
Ironically, most management theory shapes organisations that are the exact opposite of this. We limit an employee's autonomy with layers of management and controls, we limit their development to the scope of their role, and their purpose becomes tied to earning a salary.
I found particularly interesting the links between Daniel Pink's research and the research of creativity scholar Harvard professor Teresa Amabile, which I have referred to here before. Amabile's research has led to her phrase, "The Progress Principle" - that employees whose work was meaningful and measurable were more productive, creative and led more satisfying lives.
I encourage you to watch the video now, and reflect on your experience as both an employee and as a leader.
Does your experience harmonise with Pink's conclusions? If so, what changes could you make to your sphere of influence to positively impact you and your team's productive possibilities?