Tag Archive | mastery

Dan Pink on Engagement

The recent Gallup finding has astounded the organizations. According to Gallup, pioneer in the study of engagement, a staggering 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged. This means, many companies are experiencing a crisis of engagement and they aren’t aware of it. With such astonishing fact before us, perhaps, it’s time for us to rethink and reinvent our ideology on what motives and what does not.

 The Problem of Management

We have taken the term ‘Management’ too seriously! Management is just a technology to get people do what you want them to do. At the core of Management lies the ‘If – Then’ principle – if you do this, then you get that. This principle works under few situation. However, for a lot of tasks, it actually doesn’t work or might even do harm. Pink says, “This is one of the most robust findings in social science, and also one of the most ignored.”

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The Mismatch of Business & Science

In a cross-culture experiment conducted by Dan Ariely, he found out that people who were offered medium level of rewards did no better than people offered small rewards. Surprisingly, people offered highest rewards, did the worst of all.

This explains the mismatch between what science knows and what business does. Pink calls this phenomenon an ‘Economic Mess’. 

Business, today, no longer can build itself on the Carrot and Stick principle. If we really want high performance in the 21st century, the solution does not lie with the ‘If Then’ practice, to entice people with a sweeter carrot. Instead, we need a whole new approach.

What Drives Engagement?

Management creates compliance. It is good for Short & Simple tasks. However, for Long and Complex tasks, it fails. This is because the reward principle of management hampers creativity. It obstructs conceptual thinking. Today’s business yearns for engagement and not management. Engagement is driven through Self – Direction – a new operating system for business that revolves around three elements: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

  • Autonomy is the urge to direct our own lives.
  • Mastery is the desire to get better and better at something that matters.
  • Purpose is the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

These are the building blocks of an entirely new operating system for our businesses.

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Hinduism Supports Dan Pink’s Model

According to Bhagwat Gita, if a person is dedicated to his work  & works for the sake of work only without any fear of success or failure (Rewards), then that person is going to be certainly successful in his/her job.

Gita emphasizes on performing meditation & yoga for disciplining the mind that can be made to concentrate on one’s job better, producing better results. (Mastery)

The Ultimate Goal of life is SAT CHIT ANADA – Be Happy, live in Love, Peace and Bliss and spread the same to others. (Purpose)


To Sum Up

  • 20th century rewards work only in a surprisingly narrow band of circumstances.

  • If-then rewards often destroy creativity.

  • The secret to high performance isn’t rewards or punishments, but the drive to do things for their own sake. The drive to do things because they matter.