Are you working for the right motivation

Are you working for the right motivation

The world has been through different economic eras and has witnessed different motivations to work, that keep evolving till today. The earliest of this motivation, denoted motivation 1.0, was biological. During this era, the early man went about his business with the sole aim of surviving, triggered by natural biological urges.

Communities grew larger and Interactions with others became complex, hence the need for corporation and collaboration amongst people to get things done. At this period, motivation 1.0 became inadequate and gave room for motivation 2.0. With this new drive to work, came the economic ideology that man is motivated to seek reward and avoid punishment.

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This model is also known as the “carrot and sticks” model has since been adopted by employers to micromanage workers to maximize profit. Though this model has endured for a long time and hasn’t been phased out yet. Nevertheless, it has increasingly faced resistance from experts and new emerging business models in recent years.

The latest discovery that man is an intrinsically motivated purpose maximizer, not only an extrinsically motivated profit maximizer, has rendered motivation 2.0 incompatible with many aspects of contemporary business and suggests the need for a full-scale upgrade.  The three broad categories of these incompatibilities are: how we organize what we do; how we think about what we do; and how we do what we do.

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In a case study, the success of encyclopaedia by Microsoft and Wikipedia by volunteers was compared. While professionals, employed by Microsoft, were well rewarded, in terms of pay, volunteers working on Wikipedia were solely purpose-driven. More so, Microsoft’s aim for the project was to maximize profit and Wikipedia to maximize purpose. At the end of the day, from all statistical analysis, Wikipedia exceeded expectations and performed better.

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This is the case for several other open source business models that believe that work should be heuristic and be performed in a creative, interesting, and self-directed manner rather than in an algorithmic manner that is scripted, boring, and other-directed.

In conclusion, it is a known fact that something is wrong with our current motivation system, and it is noticeable in its incompatibilities with many aspects of contemporary business. In order to make a full transitional upgrade from motivation 2.0 the need to figure out the bugs themselves, cannot be overemphasised.