I'm reading now a great book, of Dan Pink. «Drive». It's a book about motivation. How it works.So far, the main idea is clear: Motivation is an intrinsic process and hardly works effectively with rewards. All the creativity and innovation capacity fall down when we are offered an external reward. What drives motivation? Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. That can be killed by any kind of reward. What is proved in several surveys is: what is work isn't joy.
So, scientists diveded what we do on the job or learn in school into two categories: Algorithmic and Heuristic. «Algorithmic task is one in which you follow a set of established instructions down a single pathway to one conclusion. That is, there's an algorithm for solving it. A heuristic task is the opposite. Precisely because no algorithm exists for it, you have to experiment with possibilities and devise a novel solution. Pretty much the same thing over and over in a certain way. Creating an ad campaign is mostly heuristic. You have to come up with something new.»
Only the algorithmic type of work can be successfully rewarded, because tasks belong to the area of logical conclusions, so are processed by the left-side brain. On the other hand, «for more right-brain undertakings, those that demand flexible problem-solving, inventiveness, or conceptual understanding, contingent rewards can be dangerous.»
Concluding, intrinsec motivation comes from inside of us, from true inspiration and joy. It's a inner energy that can't be activated by external rewards. Moreover, rewards are motivational killers.