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Leaders Beware

How AI perpetuates mistruths about motivation

Recently, I was curious to see the results of an artificial intelligence (AI) search on "How to motivate employees." As someone who has devoted her career to applying empirically sound motivation science, I shouldn't have been surprised. Still, I was dismayed by the amount of misinformation and never-proven motivation practices. 

I find it fascinating how we painstakingly analyze and interpret all kinds of big data. Still, when it comes to motivation — the most foundational aspect of human behavior — we rely on outdated science and questionable anecdotal evidence perpetuated through popular media.

You're probably as intrigued with AI as I am. But as leaders, we cannot afford to be influenced by regurgitated mistruths about motivation that are so prevalent in blogs, promotional self-published books and nonreviewed articles. After all, that's the fodder that fuels AI. When it comes to motivation — a common topic, especially post-pandemic — if you don't know what you don't know, you are apt to fall prey to "stinkin' thinkin'" and misguided advice.

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