What do you believe is the key to motivating people at work?

The key to motivating people at work is to make work inherently motivating. This is trickier than it may sound, but one of the key elements is to make progress visible. The more we can see how our effort contributes to something bigger than ourselves – or some sort of meaningful progress – the more motivated we are to continue to invest effort into our work.

What motivational tools and strategies have proven successful?

Ah, now this is telling. You’ll have to come along to my keynote at Global Shared Learning Forum on Change in the Age of Disruption, where I’ll be sharing insights in “Motivation Design for Change”. Because, you see, I could give you a bunch of tips and hacks right here – but what’s more important is how we think about motivation. Particularly in the context of change, and especially if it involves progressing through new and unchartered territory.

How do you make rewards work?

Oh, you don’t need to worry about that! Rewards work just fine. The trouble is, they often work too well, and can create all sorts of behavioural distortions, narrowed thinking and myopia. This is fine for formulaic work with predictable outcomes – but it’s terrible for pioneering work. I suggest we instead pay people well, and focus on the motivational opportunities inherent within the work itself. You’ll unlock much more curiosity, collaboration and other forms of discretionary effort this way.