Purpose and Mastery

My economics training has drilled into me the notion that rational individuals seek to maximize personal gain. It seems, then, that monetary incentives ought to result in better performance and outcomes. I have wrestled with these concepts as I seek to lead an organization where my ability to reward individuals monetarily is limited. 

This video transformed my understanding of the role of incentives in spurring performance and innovation. It is worth a watch in case you haven’t seen it. I look forward to working with faculty and staff to understand how they define their purpose and what support they need to develop mastery in fulfilling that purpose.

3 thoughts on “Purpose and Mastery

  1. Excellent video. I completely agree with the importance of autonomy, mastery & purpose as they relate to performance. Seems to be an increased interest around this topic… I recently read an article in HBR on the 4-drive model of employee motivation which includes: the drive to Acquire & Achieve, to Bond & Belong, to be Challenged & Comprehend and to Define & Defend which are similar to the concepts presented in the video

  2. I've seen this about 100 times. I love these RSA lectures btw the students love them too.Frankly, I have to agree, from anecdotal perspective and other books I've read recently on motivation, in one regard that the carrot and stick model simply doesn't work for most people. According to Richard Lavoie (2007) Six Secrets to Turning on the Tuned out Child, it's a question of the personality of the individual and what kind of motivational strategy works with that individual.Lavoie studied classrooms in High schools basically to figure out what a motivating classroom looks like. Lavoie proposes that six types motivation may be the profile of a student/child. Students generally seems to fall into one of the following motivational types;praisepowerprojectsprestigeprizesIf you look at the RSA video and think about what he's saying, it appears that in general rewards are moderately effective. However, it's not necessarily the extent of the reward it's the idea of getting a reward. Still that's carrot and stick isn't it?Then what really motivates more than this for most people is apparently satisfaction, the value of the challenge itself. This harkens back to Sartre and his "projet". The ultimate driving force being the mission that one aspires to. Man having a mission or project will be motivated to pursue it. It is his own.I suppose the what I'm saying, or trying to say, is that with (1) a mission/project,(2)challenge, (3) appropriate award to the desire and personality of the participant and (4) having autonomy in achieving success in that project, student/child/worker will achieve mastery.Frankly, I keep a note on my desktop based on this video.Performance=autonomy, mastery & purposeIt keeps me focused.Best,j

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