Motivation

Does being reminded of money make you an uncooperative jerk or an independent thinker?

Dedicated readers know that I’ve written a fair bit on how contingent rewards, including money, can go awry in all sorts of ways — resulting in poorer performance, diminished creativity, reduced interest in tasks that were once intrinsically interesting, and so on. But can the very idea of money also affect our behavior? In an […]


Jim Collins on 3 ways to avoid demotivating people at work

Jim Collins — the author of the legendary Good to Great and co-author of the new and equally compelling Great by Choice— has an insightful 3-minute Big Think video describing three ways organizations demotivate their employees. Watch it below or view it on Big Think. Then send a copy to your boss. ** BREAKING NEWS: […]


A cool new (free!) productivity tool

At the heart of most organizations is a disconnect. Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer have shown that making progress on meaningful work is the single most motivating aspect of any job. But . . . many people don’t know what kind of progress they’re making – because their main source of workplace feedback comes only […]


I’ll take gender differences for $800, Alex

A: This popular game show presents an elegant environment for studying the effects of gender on competition. Q: What is Jeopardy? Scores of studies have examined the differences between men and women when it comes to competition, but a recent paper called “Girls will be Girls – Especially among Boys” (pdf) takes a clever approach […]


How to understand regret — and 2 ways to avoid it

Sometimes when I’m stuck on a course of action, I use two techniques to help me decide. One is what I call the “90-year-old me Test.” I imagine I’m 90 and looking back at the decision before. What will I want to have done in this situation? In most cases, the 90-year-old me wants today’s […]


Why progress matters: 6 questions for Harvard’s Teresa Amabile

Here’s a tip for rounding out your summer reading. Pick up a copy of The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work. The book, which pubs today, is one of the best business books I’ve read in many years. (Buy it at Amazon, BN, or 8CR). The authors — Harvard B-school professor Teresa […]


Why do we care about some things and not others?

Joe F. is a high school teacher in New York who emailed recently with a pair of interesting questions. In fact, they were so intriguing that I asked Joe if I could present them to Pink Blog readers for their responses. Here is Joe’s explanation, followed by his questions: Our school holds an annual holiday […]


How to deliver innovation overnight

One of the ideas in Drive that has spread the fastest and the widest is the FedEx Day. Invented by the folks at the Australian software company Atlassian, these one-day bursts of autonomy allow people to work on anything they want (as long as it’s not part of their regular job) — provided they show […]


Poetry (and a life lesson!) from the pitcher’s mound

Sports week continues here at the Pink Blog . . . Last night, two of the Pinklettes and I were sitting in the stands as the Washington Nationals found themselves down 5-1 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Then, over the next 10 minutes, the Nats made an astonishing comeback, won […]


The 4 Most Overlooked Attributes of Successful Coaches

Back in my misspent youth, when I wasn’t watching sitcoms or walking to the library, I spent a big chunk of my time playing teams sports — baseball and basketball especially.  I had coaches, of course, but none of their exhortations, encouragements, or demands made much of a difference or left an impression on my […]

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