Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Creativity, Workplace, Employee, Motivation, Pink, Business, Employment, Candle

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/28

Dan Pink through his inspiring speech on motivation takes the business world by surprise by revealing a truth. Contrary to the traditional belief that business organizations tend to develop their employees and make them successful through incentivizing, Pink scientifically proves that the process of incentivizing is the most harmful one in the development of an employee. Providing incentives to the employees, believing they get motivated to produce more output, is more like bribing the employee’s conscience or creativity and pleading before it never to show up and empower the employee to scale greater heights the company may not afford to offer at all. Science calls for production through creativity whereas conventional business calls for production through incentives. After all, each individual is well aware of his or her science or creative caliber in the heart. One’s creative power would never come out through extrinsic motivators like incentives for higher productivity. Thus, intrinsic or inner motivation alone is able to bring out one’s truest potential thereby matching science with business for developing the self and organization.
Pink demonstrates his point through a problem called the candle problem, in which participants provided with a candle, a match box and a box of thumbtacks were asked to fix a burning candle to the wall without its wax dripping onto a table placed below. Participants tried several methods before slowly doing an out-of-the-box creative thinking; they finally emptied the box containing thumbtacks to make it a stand for the candle and fixed it to the wall with thumbtacks to successfully accomplish the task. Lack of a creative thought, referred as ‘functional fixedness’ by Pink, makes the participants initially to think the box containing thumbtacks as only a container with a particular utility alone, and blocks their creativity. The creative thought is science whereas the functional fixedness is the traditional way of doing things. Pink demonstrates his stand that incentive does not increase one’s creativity, in other words, creativity cannot be motivated by extrinsic factors by referring to the results of a candle game conducted by Sam Glucksberg to two distinct groups. To the first group he asked to solve the candle problem to see how fast they do it systematically by establishing norms, and to the other group he offered rewards if they finished first. Interestingly, the group that was offered incentives finished first, which proved incentives motivate to achieve whereas incentives to creatively establish norms to solve the problem quickly to the other group fetched negative results implying that incentives block creativity,
Rewards, according to Pink, work for jobs requiring mechanical skills and involving very simple rules with only a narrow focus. Thus, rewards narrow down one’s possibilities to further grow. Rewards never work for jobs requiring fundamental cognitive skills, which Pink reiterates by citing a study involving MIT students in which the students were tested by offering incentives for cracking three games requiring motor skills, concentration and creativity. Again the group playing the game requiring creativity failed proving that creativity and incentives do not go hand in hand. Pink blames organizations for taking decisions about talents based on outdated assumptions which block the creativity of potential employees and calls for a new approach. Pinks’ new approach is centered on giving autonomy for the employees to explore their creativity and talents through intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic motivation by offering incentives. The urge to do things for one’s sake alone is the secret to performing high with motivation in the 21st century against the carrot and stick policy of rewarding high performance and sealing one’s inner motivation and creativity.
Pink’s assumption of incentives blocking creativity and promoting only outputs that do not require much of cognitive thinking is purely based on the candle problem and other simulation games. But in reality, the situations at the workplace and one’s motivation to do a job are entirely different. For example, Pink’ statement does not take into account other factors like the organizational culture and other favorable situations prevailing in an organization that promote high output apart from incentives. In fact, organizational culture prevailing in companies like Google that promotes creativity during 20 percent of the working time of employees motivates employees to out-of-the-box thinking has a hidden agenda. This in one way is a hidden agreement between the staff and the company – “take 20 percent of your time to think differently and come up with new ideas, you will be rewarded accordingly.” Google must not have adopted the ideas behind the inventions like Orkut, Gmail and Google News without adequately compensating or “incentivizing” the employees behind the inventions even though the ideas were born during the 20 percent time when workers were not expected to do the routine things. Though, to a certain extent, financial incentives may lead to unethical business selling, proper business strategies with better quality control systems and employee motivation could take care of it.
Pink’s argument that organizations take decisions and frame policies only based on the talents available within the organizations, which is outdated for the modern times is a fallacy. Perhaps it was true during the days gone by. Today, in the twenty first century companies know well about the capricious nature of customer preference and the technology. Thus most of the companies frame their policies and decisions based on the customer preference and nature of market. Besides, an effective strategy to combat the competition at the market place and the entry of new players with more innovative technologies cannot rely on science to do things in a creative manner; innovation and creativity take considerable time. However, a combination of both scientific approach of creative thinking and traditional method of management through incentivizing would be a pragmatic approach to face business challenges at the marketplace.
Pink is right in suggesting “Management cannot be seen as a tree, but it is like a television set.” Definitely, management principles were manmade, and invented by our forefathers to manage a society or a country. Like a television having undergone a series of metamorphosis since it was originally invented, and is undergoing till now, management principles are of no use unless changes are made from time to time to suit the needs of business environment. The changes need to be employee-friendly to effectively tap the resources and potential of the employees. For example, in most cases, incentives are meant to push a person to do something he or she may not want to do wholeheartedly. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the management to self-motivate him to increase performance rather than the employee performing for the sake of getting incentives alone. Providing a fair degree of autonomy, encouraging free thinking and creativity can aid in intrinsic or self motivation.
Carrot and stick policy is often employed to manage productivity of employees at the workplace. Under such a circumstance, employees perform fearing the stick rather than out of attraction for the carrot. Carrots and sticks block true creativity of individuals. Hence motivators must focus on fetching intangible benefits like job satisfaction and a feeling of self-actualization to the employee in doing a particular work more than bringing materialistic incentives that make the job tiresome. After all, a self-motivated mind unleashes huge possibilities that benefit both the individual and the organization.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 28) Free Motivation Paper Essay Sample. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-motivation-paper-essay-sample/
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"Free Motivation Paper Essay Sample," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 28-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-motivation-paper-essay-sample/. [Accessed: 28-Mar-2023].
Free Motivation Paper Essay Sample. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-motivation-paper-essay-sample/. Published Dec 28, 2020. Accessed March 28, 2023.

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