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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Paperback – April 5, 2011
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"Pink makes a convincing case that organizations ignore intrinsic motivation at their peril."
"Persuasive . . .Harnessing the power of intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic remuneration can be thoroughly satisfying and infinitely more rewarding."
"These lessons are worth repeating, and if more companies feel emboldened to follow Mr. Pink's advice, then so much the better."
-Wall Street Journal
"Pink is rapidly acquiring international guru status . . . He is an engaging writer, who challenges and provokes."
"Pink's ideas deserve a wide hearing. Corporate boards, in fact, could do well by kicking out their pay consultants for an hour and reading Pink's conclusions instead."
"Pink's deft traversal of research at the intersection of psychology and economics make this a worthwhile read-no sticks necessary."
"[Pink] continues his engaging exploration of how we work."
"Pink's a gifted writer who turns even the heaviest scientific study into something digestible-and often amusing-without losing his intellectual punch."
-New York Post
"A worthwhile read. It reminds us that those of us on the right side of the brain are driven furthest and fastest in pursuit of what we love."
-Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Pink's analysis--and new model--of motivation offers tremendous insight into our deepest nature."
"Important reading...an integral addition to a growing body of literature that argues for a radical shift in how businesses operate."
"Drive is the rare book that will get you to think and inspire you to act. Pink makes a strong, science-based case for rethinking motivation--and then provides the tools you need to transform your life."
-Dr. Mehmet Oz, co-author of YOU: The Owners Manual
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Top Customer Reviews
On the downside, there is not much of scientific background. While books that synthesize existing research can be really good, this one is based on works of Deci and Csikszentmihalyi, both fairly old, and some anecdotal evidence, like 20%-rule at Google (reportedly discontinued as of 2014). There is a list of more recommended books at the end, but it mostly consists of popular titles, not original research. I expected more sources, and more recent ones.
Fair amount of content, such as splitting of intrinsic motivation into autonomy, mastery and purpose, as well as many recommendations, appear to be author's imagination, not necessary validated. It also takes stance similar to "Flow", presenting intrinsic motivation as something entirely separate, with no relation to delayed extrinsic motivation, and often sounding like it's a good thing.
For that reason, I would suggest that watching TED talk by the book author might be enough, followed by more in-depth books.
Dan Pink points out that there has been a body of rigorous, scientific work that has accumulated over the past 50+ years that identify motivators for creative jobs. They are: (1) Autonomy, people want to have control over their work, (2) Mastery, people want to get better at what they do, and (3) Purpose, people want to be part of something that is bigger than they are.
The author points out that traditional motivators, e.g., pay, titles, etc., work well for some areas of work such as highly repetitive, low creativity endeavors, but for creative jobs money (at some level) becomes a disincentive to innovation.
The beyond a certain level is an important caveat. There are two counters to this. One is workers need to be compensated at a baseline level that allows them to live comfortably. The second is that people are endowed with an innate sense of fairness, and even creative people will baulk at being recompensed at a rate that they feel is unfair.
I've given copies of this book to all of my direct reports and have incorporated the reward framework into my organizations.
The book is spot on. The points about non-monetary compensation ring true in my own experience, but Pink's data and explanation have guided me in being more effective in applying the concepts broadly.
On the autonomy side, I have pushed more resources to my supporting managers, and I have encouraged them to further encourage autonomy with their direct reports. Additionally, we have encouraged inter-organization moves for those that feel affinity towards other work areas.
For mastery, we are encouraging and rewarding actions aimed at self-improvement across a broader range of activities and professional areas.
Finally, for purpose, we emphasize the value-added that our employees work has on broader society.
These changes have had a marked, positive impact on morale and the number of personnel volunteering their talents in new and creative areas.
I give this book my highest recommendation.
I would recommend this to anyone in a management position as well as any owners of medium to large businesses. Such an interesting read and I hope this is the future of the American workplace.