What do Margaret Thatcher, the Queen, Kiri Te Kanawa, the All Blacks, Grant Dalton and Helen Clark have in common? They all happen to have been fortunate enough to have been fed by Suze Glynn. You don’t know Suze Glynn? Well, if you have been living in or passing through London in the past 35 years, you may well have either met her or enjoyed her catering. Or, for those expat New Zealanders living in the UK and hankering for the tastes of home, it’s very likely that you have Suze and her husband Tom to thank for the ready availability of Marlborough Sav Blanc or greenshell mussels. They are widely credited with being pioneers in the London catering scene although that was never the plan when they left New Zealand for the usual OE in 1976...
Drive – the surprising truth about what motivates us
By Dan Pink
Drive explores what has motivated humans throughout history and explains how we shifted from mere survival to the carrot and stick approach that’s still practiced today – and why it’s outdated.
Most people have been taught to believe that the best way to motivate is to use rewards like money, but according to Daniel Pink people are making a mistake thinking that external rewards are the best way to motivate. He calls this Motivation 2.0.
There is scientific evidence that this rarely provides long-term performance improvements. Extrinsic motivation is based on the idea that if we want to increase a behavior we need to reward it and if we want to decrease a behaviour, we must use punishment. However, when people are motivated only by external rewards, they often shift their attention from the experience leading to the goal to the reward that follows the goal.
Pure focus on goals may cause systematic problems for organisations such as focus only on short-term gains and lose of sight of the potential devastating long-term effects on the organisation. The symptoms of goals only focus include:
- Extinguishing intrinsic motivation
- Diminishing performance
- Crushing creativity
- Crowding out good behaviour
- Encouraging cheating, shortcuts, and unethical behaviour
- Becoming addictive
- Fostering short-term thinking
Instead Pink suggests that the secret to high performance and satisfaction at work, at school, and at home consists of three pillars: the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to become better at things that matter to us, and to do something meaningful for ourselves and the world. He calls this Motivation 3.0.
He feels there are three elements we must provide to workers in this category:
- Autonomy—”the desire to direct our own lives;”
- Mastery—”the urge to make progress and get better at something that matters; and”
- Purpose—”the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.”
Pink does not suggest that people will work for free or for a non-competitive wage. He categorizes “salary, contract payments, some benefits” and “a few perks” as “baseline rewards.” When baseline rewards are insufficient, workers will focus on how they are treated unfairly and their creativity will decline rapidly. However, once the baseline rewards are high enough that they are no longer a factor in the worker’s focus, adding additional extrinsic rewards will only dampen motivation.
This does not mean that everyone should stop using external rewards. Rather, it is important to understand that for routine tasks, which aren’t very interesting and don’t require creative thinking, rewards can provide a small motivational booster shot without harmful side effects.
He does not suggest eliminating all rewards. Instead, he warns against using “if-then” rewards and promotes the use of “here-now” rewards that are given out unpredictably. These rewards can be as simple as praise, a lunch out, or genuine and detailed feedback. They should not be introduced at the start of a project as a condition of success, nor should they become predictably routine.
Finally, Pink provides some tips for personal application of Motivation 3.0:
- Adjust how you compensate and reward business development efforts
- Involve your team more in goal setting exercises
- Strive for the flow state in everything you do
If we get past the simplistic ‘carrots vs sticks’ ideology, and allow people to be more motivated by autonomy, mastery and purpose, we can make our businesses stronger and maybe change the world.
Reviewed by Shayna Manchanda
Review of June’s Business Book Brunch
Ozone Coffee Roasters was buzzing when I arrived, early, for my first Business Book Brunch (BBB) on Sunday 18 June. However, I wasn’t the only eager beaver to arrive early and ready to discuss our featured book, Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David.
Like most network events, everyone around the table introduced themselves, and we had a range of members old and new, BBB virgins and seasoned professionals. We had the odd confession from people who hadn’t quite finished the book, which seems to be normal etiquette for the brunch session, so no pressure ladies! Our lively discussion was only interrupted by the generous portions of eggs benedict, smoked fish kedgeree, omelettes, etc., we had ordered to accompany our hot and cold drinks.
Susan David’s concept of emotional agility is about facing up to our emotions and using them to make decisions to lead a happier life. She draws on over 20 years of academic research and consulting, and writes about her own emotional experiences growing up in South Africa to overcome adversity.
The first step to emotionally agility is to acknowledge that our ‘emotions contain information, not directions’*. This is my favourite quote in the book and a theme that resonated strongly with most us. (In a podcast with Rob Bell, Susan calls it ‘data not direction’^, which I think is a much catchier phrase!) That is, our emotions aren’t telling us how to feel, think or act. Emotions are data to be analysed and interpreted to help us make decisions.
To adopt this first step we must face up to your emotions, which is something I’m not particularly good at. I’m what Susan David calls a ‘Bottler’**: I bottle up my negative emotions and pretend they don’t exist. So, instead of ignoring them I’ve been facing up to them. As I work away at home on my own on my new business start-up, I’ve been asking myself, “Why am I frustrated? Why am I anxious? What are these emotions telling me?”. I believe that by acknowledging my emotions and using them to make decisions I’ve been able to channel my energy into more productive tasks leaving the negativity behind.
This leads onto another theme from the book that we liked, which is learning to let things go, or ‘unstuck’ as Susan David calls it. As Kiwi women, we are great at writing lists. We receive great pleasure crossing things off as they are done – completed! However, persevering with something can be a waste of time, especially if it’s no longer relevant and serves no purpose. This doesn’t mean we’ve failed. It means we are now ‘unstuck’ and free to channel our energy into things more productive and satisfying.
The final theme from the book I want to highlight is values because as New Zealanders living in London we often encounter values that differ to our own. Susan David writes that knowing our values helps us to consistently make the best decisions and, consequently, live happier lives. Frustration was a common emotion we discussed, particularly in the workplace, which is often the result of conflicting values. For example, where a Brit may say, “That’s not my job”, as Kiwis we are more likely to roll up our sleeves and get on with it. There’s not much we can do about this, unfortunately, but if we are emotional agile we can at least understand why we are feeling frustrated, see the broader context, let go and move on.
We talked about lots of other topics in the book, including emotional writing, mindfulness, contagious stress, and compassion for our younger self. But, I’m afraid I’ve exhausted my word count! If you’d like to know how these relate to emotional agility and, like me, you’re curious to find out what happens when you face up to your emotions, I highly recommend reading Susan David’s book.
Many girls had said during brunch that BBB was the highlight of their NZBWN event calendar and, as a book worm myself, I would have to agree. If you’d like to join us our next BBB is Saturday 19 August 10am-12pm at Ozone. We’re reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Look out for the invitation soon. If you’d like to get a head start on reading you can find it here:
Working Bee Productions
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*David, Susan A, Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life, [Kindle for iPad version 5.10]. Retrieved from 35% - Loc 1413 of 4068.
^ https://robbell.podbean.com/e/episode-136-susan-david-on-emotional-agility/ Last assessed 25 June 2017.
**David, Susan A, Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life, [Kindle for iPad version 5.10]. Retrieved from 15% - Loc 587 of 4068.
Lizzie and her husband James are the power couple behind bringing Ozone Coffee Roasters to London five years ago. Although always ambitious with a desire to explore the world, Lizzie never anticipated she would be where she is today.
She describes her New Plymouth upbringing as fairly typical and filled with lots of extracurricular activities and the odd entrepreneurial venture. Later, at university in Wellington, Lizzie began to wonder where her Art History degree would take her and worked almost every night in hospitality (or “hospo”) to avoid feeling like a poor student. It was during this time that she met her future husband, James – an Englishman and a coffee roaster.
Although James initially swore he would never live in London, the two started to crave an adventure and to start their own business. Wellington in particular felt small so they started exploring overseas opportunities.