I recently finished Dan Pink’s Drive. I wasn’t a big fan of A Whole New Mind, but I really enjoyed his latest work. It’s a Gladwellian synthesis of a body of academic research from luminaries such as Howard Gardner, Teresa Amabile and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (good luck with that one) simplified for mass consumption.
Pink both validated some of what I had been saying before and at the same time raised some good points about the down side to contingent bonuses (essentially changing my views).
I still like the idea of a year end bonus to make wages more flexible, but now I see it as just that – flexible wages – and not an effective tool for motivation. I wondered before about its efficacy on that last count but attributed short comings mostly to suboptimal feedback loops. Maybe Netflix is on to something more than I originally thought.