I started reading Drive by Daniel Pink this week. Daniel Pink states that the three most important things we need to achieve Motivation 3.0 are autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Today’s workers are required to perform many creative tasks, and the old reward system just doesn’t work.
In my professional experience, my most rewarding jobs have been where I have been given autonomy over my time and my tasks. On many occasions I have gone above and beyond the call of duty because of the inner reward and purpose that I experienced from the task. I’ve also been in the “flow” zone where my best work is done. It’s a great feeling to accomplish something because you want to do it and not because you have to do it. I have also seen great results in classrooms where teachers have provided their students with an environment that allows them some autonomy. I believe this is why Montessori education is so successful.
Run out to buy the book (or download to your e-reader) as soon as possible. Get a head start by listening to Daniel Pink’s TED Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html.