Monday, June 28, 2010

What motivates us.

Whats the motivation level in your project? Are your coders roaring to go each day or they just try and slough true. Daniel Pink in his book Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us give us some amazing insight that it's probably not the money.

In the video he talks about 3 main things that motivates people, Autonomy - The desire to be self directed, Mastery - The urge to do better or get better at something and Purpose - The need to feel that they are doing something meaningful.

Jurgen Apello in his blog post People Motivation: Target Intrinsic Desires talks about the same things in a slight different form, he talks about Competence, Autonomy and Relatedness (Self Determination Theory).

See a pattern here? Autonomy appeared twice, Competence = Maestery and Purpose = Relatedness. Nothing about money, nothing at all. Surprising ? Not really, remember there's this old joke about it's lucky that our employers are paying us to do what we love, if not we would have to start paying them. I guess that dosen't just applies to programmers, it applies to all who truly love what they are doing. I know not everyone has the luxury to do what they like, hopefully for them they will find their little niche in life.

So managers think about this. How can I give autonomy to my team and how can I stand behind them to ensure that the autonomy is being exercised.