If you watched the video in my last blog post you heard Leadbeater using the term Pro-Ams, which means passionate amateurs who works to professional standards. Having written The Pro-Am Revolution: How enthusiasts are changing our economy and society (together with Paul Miller), Leadbeater seems to be a great fan of Pro-Ams and the work they achieve.
Pro-Ams are extremely dedicated and they are not working for money, they work for the love of what they are doing. This means that they, most of the time, are working without an extrinsic motivator (the money). Instead they are driven by an intrinsic motivator (the love). I, and many others, believe that intrinsic motivators are far more effective than extrinsic motivators. That is probably one reason to the Pro-Am´s achievements in product development and innovation and the core of successes like Linux and Wikipedia. I do not think it is a good idea for companies to stop paying their employees, but I do think companies need to focus more on the intrinsic motivators. As we are trying to create an innovation process this leads us to the following question.
Do we want the employees to behave more like Pro-Ams or do we want to engage external Pro-Ams in the innovation process? The answer might be both.
In this video clip Dan Pink talks more about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. You will probably be able to see more references to Dan Pink on this blog further on since both me and Sigrid are great fans.
If you happen to be an innovation-process-Pro-Am and want to contribute to our blog just write a comment.