TED Talk Tuesday: Carrot-and-sticks don’t work


It’s a common phrase. “Carrots-and-sticks” Carrots are the incentives, and sticks are the punishments for not following the rules.  This phrase was used quite a bit when the US first invaded Iraq eight years ago. They are tools used by those with power to control others.  Another way to put the phrase is, “Incentives-and-regulations.”

It’s interesting to note that often when we have a political leader say something about solutions, it involves incentives-and-regulations. Dan Pink talks about the research that shows us that incentives don’t work in business and, analogously, why they shouldn’t be used as the method to fix our broken institutions: financial, educational,  or political.

Instead, he talks of using other motivators:

Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose

So, what do you think?

Can the government use the 40 years of research to fix our institutions?

Is it time for we, the people, to step in?

If so, what can we do?

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2 thoughts on “TED Talk Tuesday: Carrot-and-sticks don’t work

    1. Hey Tyler. The menu is becoming the meal, and money is becoming the wealth. I think we can realign our values once we see that what we are doing and who we are doing it for is what drives us. We need to start a conversation.

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