So when we think about what motivates people maybe the first think about is
what we think motivates people and what we don’t understand motivates people.
And maybe the first misunderstanding is about the pleasure principle.
So we have this idea of we have the right to pursue happiness
and we are trying to be happy andthat’s really what we’re pursuing – happiness.
But think about it.
What gives you happiness in a waythat is observable?
Maybe sitting on the beach drinking a mojito
or maybe sitting on the sofa watching a sitcom.
But if you do almost anything that is useful, meaningful, that you take pride of.
It’s not the same things.
But imagine you have a whole life of sitting on the beach drinking mojitos.
How happy would that life be?
So the first I think mistake is that we pursue momentary happiness
rather than longer term happiness.
So we do the things that will make us laugh out loud today kind of.
Not always laugh out loud but kind of like that.
And we don’t do the things that are difficult and complex and challenging
but give us a very different sense of happiness.
Think about something like running a marathon.
You don’t see anybody happy
Like if you came as an alien and you image peoples’ brains
and you looked at their facial expressions as they’re running a marathon
you would say somebody is punishing them.
Like they are paying for something terrible they’ve done
and this is how they’re paying their debt to society.
But it is kind of miserable but it’s also meaningful
and creat a sense of achievement in someone.
So we’re pursuing momentary pleasure rather than truly understanding
the depth of what happiness is or what meaning is.
And then the second thing is that we’re trying to figure out
how we externally motivate people and we have usually a very simple equation
that says motivation equals money.
And if you’re not working hard enough or doing something and
they’re just not paying you enough or not giving you a bonus in the right way
then we just jigger around bonuses and payment and we say
oh, let’s change the payment this way and change the payment this way
and give is slightly big bonuses here and slightly big bonuses there
and we’ll create point systems for evaluation and all kind of things.
The beauty of human nature is that lots of things motivate us.
成就感 头衔 工作的关系
A sense of accomplishment and achievement, our title, our connection to work
our connection to people at work, competing with other people.
All of those things motivate us.
So we write a motivation equation.
我们会写动力相当于 对 金钱很重要
We would write motivation equals yes, money is important
but so is achievement, sense of progress, competition, dah, dah, dah, dah.
And the question is how do we use all of them to create motivation.
And in physics people look for the perpetual motion machine.
How do we get energy from nothing, right, and continue growing.
In motivation there is something like that.So imagine two businesses.
In one of them the business doesn’t care about motivation.
In one of them they care deeply.
In the first business people are miserable and the business is miserable
and they’re not making lots of money.
In the second one people could be happier, management could be happier
and they could be much more productive and efficient.
Everybody wins when we invest in deep motivation.
One of the first experiments we did on the question of meaning.
It wasn’t like big meaning, it was little meaning.
And here is what we did.
We got people to come to the lab and we say
would you like to build a bionical
and we’ll pay you three dollars for this bionical.
And people built their bionical.
We took it, we put it under the desk and
we say would you like to build another one for two dollars and seventy cents?
If they say yes we gave them the next one.
And then the next one for thirty cents less and less and less diminishing wage
until they decide stop, no more.
And we told all of those people that when they finished the task
we’ll take all the bionical
we’ll break them into pieces and prepare them for the next participant.
That was what we call the meaningful condition.
It’s not really meaningful but it is meaningful compared to the next condition.
In the next condition which we internally called the sisyphic condition
it started the same way.
We said to people would you like to build a bionical for three dollars
and they started doing it.
When they finished we took it from them.
We kept it on the desk and then we said
would you like to build another one for two seventy.
If they said yes they started building the second bionical but as they were building
the second bionical we took the pieces apart from the first bionical.
So we destroyed it in front of their eyes.
And then we put it back in the box
and then we said would you like to build a third one for thirty cents less.
And if they said yes we gave them back the first one that they assembled and we broke.
And this way we continued back and forth.
And we called this the sisyphic condition
because if you remember Sisyphus from the mythology
he was sentenced to push a rock up the hill
and he almost got to the top and the rock would roll back and he had to do the same hill.
And the idea was that if there were different hills
是的 如果是在翻越不同的山丘 或许他能稍微感觉有所进展
right, if you were just going over different hills maybe he would feel some progress.
But having to do the same hill over and over was the depth of demoralizing of people.
And what happened?
Kind of a couple of interesting things.
The first one is that people stopped much faster in the sisyphic condition.
The second one is we asked people how much they enjoyed Legos in general.
And we wanted to see
whether there’s a correlation between how much they enjoyed Legos
and how much they persisted in this task.
And what we saw was that in the meaningful condition there was a correlation.
People who loved Legos did more bionicals.
People who didn’t like Legos internally didn’t like so much.
In the sisyphic condition the correlation was zero which means
that we have sucked away the joy of assembling Legos.
Because you see the people who love Legos did not
do any more than the people who didn’t.
Somehow the joy of it just went away.
The other interesting insight from this study is
we did another version of this experiment.
in which people did not engage in building bionicals
but we did this in business school.
and we asked the students to predict
how other people would behave in those two environments.
所以我们说 好了 你们有一个
So we said okay, you have an
environment with more meaning and an environment with less meaning.
How many bionicals will people build differently in those two environments?
And we paid people for the accuracy of their predictions.
People predicted that the difference will be
in the meaningful condition people would build more.
But they predicted it would be only one bionical more.
So we understand that meaning matters but we think it matters very little.
In fact, it matters a lot.
People built almost four more bionicals.
So there was a big gap and people don’t understand how meaning is important.
And if you think about it as a manager actually as anybody
if you’re trying to motivate people.
可以是一个学校老师 一个家长 无论是什么身份
It could be a school teacher, it could be a parent, whatever it is
if you’re trying to motivate people you have to understand how big is meaning.
And if you think that meaning has a very small effect
you would not invest much in it.
Only if you understand how big and important it is
you will invest in it.