workhorse“Carrot and stick” motivation doesn’t work anymore in our brand new world. That seems to be a firm conclusion of many behavioral science researchers, including MIT, University of Chicago and one of my favorites, Dan Pink, the author of several provocative, bestselling books about the changing world of work. Studies have shown that an aspiration for self-growth is a fundamental human desire and when employees are offered to work not on the mundane but on the complex tasks the old monetary compensation seizes to work and actually may become counterproductive.

The key to high performance and fulfillment in any sphere of our existence is a deeply innate need to lead our own destinies, to learn and create new things, and to make our environment better and our world sustainable.

Now we observe emergence of a new phenomenon – a desire to have a shared purpose.  This shared purpose makes us wake up in the morning in a good mood and makes us strive to contribute more to society and to grow more individually. If the monetary motivation is not supported by the purposeful motivation we end up with mediocre products, bad service, and dismal design.  The entire enterprise is inefficient, people are unhappy…

There are some efforts to merge these two types of motivation, like social enterprises, conscious capitalism and alike. These new approaches symbolize significant qualitative changes in people. If for millennia, we just wanted more goods, more money, more comfort, etc. then now our desires grow qualitatively. We want a better world, we want sustainable future for our kids, we want to live in harmony with nature. More and more of our desires become shared and that changes our attitude to each other – we begin to relate to each other as humans and not as to workhorses.