Daniel Pink, the author of "A Whole New Mind" and the upcoming book "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" gave a thought-provoking talk about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation at TED conference. Current research indicates that extrinsic rewards may help us perform better in a narrow range of tasks that have a well-defined objective and a clear set of rules. According to Pink, extrinsic rewards "narrow focus and restrict possibilities." That's why they are not effective in situations that require us to think "outside the box." If we want to boost engagement and creativity at work, we need intrinsic motivation, which includes three main components:
Mastery: The desire to get better at something that matters.
Purpose: The yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.