Motivating Creative Problem Solving

Following up on a previous post on motivation:  at last year’s TED, new mind guru Daniel Pink talks about how motivation works for creative problem solving.  His key point:  if you give some one  a simple, well-defined task, you can get them to improve performance by providing incentives for solving the problem in minimum time.  But, if you give someone a task that requires creative thinking (e.g., understanding the outcome required and defining the tasks to do that), incentives don’t work.

When a task requires creative thinking, an incentive structure causes people to focus to narrowly on “getting the job done” and that in turn prevents them from reflecting on the nature of the problem and thinking in an unorthodox way about the work that needs to get done.  He argues that this kind of creative thinking is only possible with an entirely new approach to motivation.

Worth a look.