Instaread Summary, Analysis & Review of Dan Ariely’s Payoff
Five out of five stars
The nine key takeaways listed in this summary are an encapsulation of what the most competent managers have known for decades. Motivating people is best done not by instilling fear or lavishing money, but by making them believe that their work has meaning in the world. It is an aspect of management that is so often overlooked in a society where those in charge have simple views of the world.
The stage for the accuracy of the summary is set clearly and concisely in the first key takeaway.
“If work has meaning, a person will be motivated to complete it, even for lower pay.”
Humans evolved into the dominant species on Earth because they developed social structures such as tribes, where the group was far more capable than the sum of the members. This led to the development of many tactics for social cohesion that remain to this day. This is encapsulated in key takeaways seven and eight.
“Monetary rewards are often ineffective because they associate a dollar value with unquantifiable things like goodwill.”
“Motivation factors are not intuitive, and people tend to underestimate their effects.”
From this summary, it is clear that Ariely understands the complexities of motivating people to be productive and does an excellent job in describing them in his book.