Rather than profit or money, what motivates us is:
Purpose – a higher motivator, once you have enough money so that more money no longer matters as a motivator
Mastery – getting better at things
Self-direction – doing it your own way.
The RSA Animate series, which I highly recommend, features this animation/lecture by Dan Pink. It confirms for me what I already thought that humans are not motivated by profit, and it’s better for organisations to recognise and work in this way: and the science (psychology, economics, sociology) backs it up.