Then they present all of the stuff that they've developed to their teammates, to the rest of the company, in this wild and woolly all-hands meeting at the end of the day. It's worked so well that Atlassian has taken it to the next level with 20% time — done, famously, at Google — where engineers can spend 20% of their time working on anything they want.
They have autonomy over their time, their task, their team, their technique. And at Google, as many of you know, about half of the new products in a typical year are birthed during that 20% time: things like Gmail, Orkut, Google News. They don't have to be in the office at a certain time, or any time. How they do it, when they do it, where they do it, is totally up to them.
If you're the fastest of everyone we're testing here today, you get 20 dollars." Now this is several years ago, adjusted for inflation, it's a decent sum of money for a few minutes of work. Answer: It took them, on average, three and a half minutes longer. What's alarming here is that our business operating system — think of the set of assumptions and protocols beneath our businesses, how we motivate people, how we apply our human resources— it's built entirely around these extrinsic motivators, around carrots and sticks. And the offered them, for performance, three levels of rewards: small reward, medium reward, large reward.
That's actually fine for many kinds of 20th century tasks. If-then rewards work really well for those sorts of tasks, where there is a simple set of rules and a clear destination to go to. The solution, if it exists at all, is surprising and not obvious. If you do really well you get the large reward, on down. As long as the task involved only mechanical skill bonuses worked as they would be expected: the higher the pay, the better the performance. But once the task called for even rudimentary cognitive skill, a larger reward led to poorer performance.
A few years later, another encyclopedia got started.
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This Connecting Communities® webinar highlighted the new Opportunity Zones tax incentive, which aims to drive long-term equity capital to distressed communities by providing tax benefits on investments in Opportunity Funds.But it can also have this other function, as a platform for the candle. He gathered his participants and said: "I'm going to time you, how quickly you can solve this problem." To one group he said, "I'm going to time you to establish norms, averages for how long it typically takes someone to solve this sort of problem." To the second group he offered rewards. If you want people to perform better, you reward them. This is one of the most robust findings in social science, and also one of the most ignored. I'm an American; I don't believe in philosophy. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, some evidence: Dan Ariely, one of the great economists of our time, he and three colleagues did a study of some MIT students.He said, "If you're in the top 25% of the fastest times, you get five dollars. I spent the last couple of years looking at the science of human motivation, particularly the dynamics of extrinsic motivators and intrinsic motivators. If you look at the science, there is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does. They gave these MIT students a bunch of games, games that involved creativity, and motor skills, and concentration.It's built much more around intrinsic motivation.Around the desire to do things because they matter, because we like it, they're interesting, or part of something important.And what worries me, as we stand here in the rubble of the economic collapse, is that too many organizations are making their decisions, their policies about talent and people, based on assumptions that are outdated, unexamined, and rooted more in folklore than in science.And if we really want to get out of this economic mess, if we really want high performance on those definitional tasks of the 21st century, the solution is not to do more of the wrong things, to entice people with a sweeter carrot, or threaten them with a sharper stick. The good news is that the scientists who've been studying motivation have given us this new approach.They had deployed all the right incentives, They paid professionals to write and edit thousands of articles. This is the titanic battle between these two approaches. Two: Those if-then rewards often destroy creativity. Well-compensated managers oversaw the whole thing to make sure it came in on budget and on time. Three: The secret to high performance isn't rewards and punishments, but that unseen intrinsic drive— the drive to do things for their own sake. Speakers provided details on how the tax incentive is expected to work and highlighted emerging national and local strategies to engage residents around how these funds are deployed in their communities.Presenters included Rachel Reilly, Director, Impact Investing, Enterprise Community Partners; Eric Robertson, President, Communtiy LIFT; and Amanda Roberts, Senior Community Development Analyst, Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The two-day conference explored the impact of policies and practices on place-based inequality.