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Autonomy as Motivation

May 26, 2010

It has long been held that firms seeking to be entrepreneurial need to be innovative, risk taking and proactive. In 1996, academics added competitiveness and autonomy to the mix.

The video below — which I found out about by way of Mike Waddell at — offers a different take on autonomy. It turns out that is a powerful motivational tool for knowledge workers. Produced by from the RSA, the piece says money is not a motivator, and that offering it as a reward for anything other than simple tasks is actually counterproductive.

Granted, we were already familiar with Google’s 20-percent time. The RSA video mentions Australian software company, Atlassian, which does something similar: Once a quarter workers are told they can work on anything with anybody they want.

If nothing else, it is a great video. Well worth 11 minutes of your time.

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