Incentives Kill Creativity

The other day I had jotted down about wanting to talk about incentives killing creativity, because something someone said pissed me off. I put it in my GTD list and forgot about it. I came back today to actually write on the subject and got road blocked about what I was thinking on the topic. This is the problem with relying on passion for motivation. Whatever trigger pissed me off, I forgot about, so I googled for “incentives kill creativity” and this fabulous TED Talk came back as a top result. Daniel Pink is more qualified than me to talk about it so instead I’m asking you take 20 minutes and watch this TED Talk.

High performance in the future will come from intrinsic motivation. The principles will be based on Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.  Think about it.


  1. That was mind-blowing. Wow.

    It makes total sense. Why all the science to back up the idea of intrinsic motivation and a complete lack of business acceptance or even consideration of such things? Complacency and fear of change, I guess.

    Management is just another word for control. We need to do away with centralized management and empower people through showing them that their ideas have merit and that we’re all working together towards a goal greater than ourselves.

    Perhaps it’s just a question of showing someone they matter every day…

  2. Terrific!
    Daniel Pink’s analysis explains, perhaps, why all the job growth in the booming 1990’s and later 2000″s was in small businesses, where autonomy is the rule, mastery is the payoff, and purpose is the motivator. Management-driven large businesses grow only by accretion of smaller businesses, then quash the autonomy and creativity that made them a worthwhile acquisition in the first place. We destroy what we value most.

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