The puzzle of motivation described in Daniel Pinks TED Talk had to do with incentives. The case he made was the example of the candle problem. In this problem, you gave a group incentives for finding a quicker solution. These incentives force people to focus and be narrow minded, therefor hindering performance in most cases. When the problem is simple it is more effective. But if it requires even “rudimentary thinking”, the greater the reward the less effective incentives become. So, the puzzle is overcoming the way businesses operate and leaning towards methods that are proven through science. As described in the TED talk the three core motivators are autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Autonomy is the urge to direct own lives. In a business setting this can be implemented through flexible work schedules or the usage of ROWE that gives people the reigns for their own decision making. Mastery would be getting better at something that matters to you. I see this as one of the biggest issues when it comes to young adults today, as they are always searching for “what they want to do” and what they are passionate about. In a business setting this would be implemented by allowing your employees to work in the things they want to and are passionate about. The example given in the TED talk would be Google. 20 percent of their time was given to them to work on whatever projects they want. And a significant amount of productivity comes from that 20 percent. Finally, Purpose. The desire to do what we do in service of something larger than self. I found that to be my biggest motivator when I was in the Marine Corps. I joined for a purpose, I served with a purpose, I fought for a purpose. I didn’t need much more motivation outside of that. In a business setting, I think it could be implemented by showing members of your organization what role they play. When I worked for FedEx, we always had meetings that showed company-wide goals and productivity. We were then shown our teams impact on the overall goal and where we fit in as far as accomplishing that. It shows you your teams purpose.I do not believe that there is anything unethical about the use of any form of motivation. When it comes down to it, change and result are based on the individual’s personal choice. The world is full of external factors where we all chose to “pay attention to an appeal or act on a piece of information.” That is why these studies even exist. It shows us what is more effective based on the choices individuals make given certain circumstances, and I don’t see anything unethical about that. It starts to backfire, as mentioned in the Ideacast, if you start trying to trick people because they start to see your approach and resist your methods. This is why people don’t trust sales people anymore because they would push the limits and society has now adjusted to those methods.


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