Summary of The Puzzle of Motivation

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The Puzzle of Motivation summary
Bigger is not always better – particularly when it comes to rewards, motivation and performance.


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At the turn of the millennium, nobody would have predicted that an online encyclopedia to which anyone could contribute without getting paid and with little oversight could be a success. Yet that’s exactly how Wikipedia became the world’s go-to reference site. Career analyst Dan Pink connects the dots between motivation and performance. He explains why rewards rarely boost productivity. “Autonomy, mastery and purpose” are the only factors that truly motivate people. getAbstract recommends Pink’s dynamic talk to anyone who seeks to learn about human behavior.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What social scientists have learned from variations of the “candle puzzle,”
  • How these studies relate to business practices
  • How to boost employee motivation and performance


Psychologist Karl Duncker created the “candle puzzle,” ...
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About the Speaker

Dan Pink is a career analyst and a contributing editor for Wired. He wrote A Whole New Mind.

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    Janice Nessel 12 months ago
    The ROWE method is a process I have heard about but not seen in action in any company I have dealt with or worked with at any time. I believe an employee who is able to work with a "staggered" schedule is definitely a happier employee.
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    Sander Kevin L 1 year ago
    Interesting study that finds incentives aren't as desired in the work force as one might think.
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    Morrison Shawn Marie 1 year ago
    Worth listening to! Meaningful!
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    Teer Gregg 1 year ago
    Strive to do what matters, a great motto to live by.....
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    Dynamic Dylan 2 years ago
    This summary could also include more explanation of the concept of M.A.P. Mastery Autonomy Purpose.
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    Karl Slovin 2 years ago
    Very interesting take on 21 C. motivation... It's not all about the money. Good speaker. Worth the listen.

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