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In this Dan Pink keynote, the former speechwriter for Al Gore discusses motivation in society today. Pink’s rhetoric goes against the grain, arguing that work-based incentives stifle creativity and flow, effectively slowing down the professional pace.
Pink’s motivation-themed thesis credits the academic endeavors of Princeton University professor Sam Glucksberg. Operating in the field of psychology, Glucksberg contrasted the performance of students who were given monetary incentives with those who were not. Such studies consistently revealed that a lack of incentives brought about greater productivity.
Glucksberg’s findings are consistent with Pink’s take on the carrot and stick approach. According to Pink, rewards narrow the focus of employees and students, keeping them focused on attaining a specific outcome rather than the task at hand. This train of thought works against the persuasion of traditional business models which promote prizes and payoffs. Should this anti-bonus career model be supported, greater concentration on workplace assignments may be seen.