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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Hardcover – December 29, 2009
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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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
About the Author
Daniel H. Pink is the author of five books, including To Sell Is Human and the long-running New York Times bestsellers A Whole New Mind and Drive. His books have been translated into thirty-three languages and have sold more than a million copies in the United States alone. Pink lives with his family in Washington, D.C.
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The one thing I thought was particularly interesting was the idea that rewarding performance in an "if-then" way ("if you do X, I'll give you Y") can actually DECREASE long-term productivity. As a software developer, I've seen this play out in real life, so it was fun to see someone formally write about this phenomenon.
Reading this book was not a waste of time. Was it a "game changer?" No.
It was a quick read, so if the topic sounds interesting to you, give it a go!
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.
The material resonates with this reader - a chief executive with more than 20 years of management experience. People are beyond base plus bonus. The need to have purpose in life and work seems to be a more compelling driver than ever before. Pink notes that the three elements that appear to motivate people to achieve are:
If the work environment can provide a maximum opportunity for all three elements, there's a fighting chance that the employee will be successful, motivated, happy, productive and the clients will be well-served. His focus on the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) mirrors the direction that leading edge companies - especially technology companies - have been taking for years. The innate psychology resonates with this reader for himself as well. It isn't all about the money, but it is all about the achievement or mastery of a craft in which money is a measurement of mastery but not proof of it.
Any manager, teacher or parent should pick this book up and read the profound wisdom contained in its pages. How to think about tasks, work, the structure or organizations and management are all in there, and they are all useful in the development of your own managerial tool box.