What Motivates You?

After seeing this book referenced in a few online articles, I've decided to give it a read. Since one of my nasty habits is only buying hard cover business books, I was a little nervous that Pink would lay another egg with this book and I'd be out my $33.50. I read a Whole New Mind (okay, I didn't finish it completely), but I found it a little unsatisfying.

DriveCover.jpgI'm happy to report that Drive is much better than a Whole New Mind. Certainly the main thesis resonates with me; that what science has known for years about motivation is not applied in business. This is a theme that has been trumpeted by Pfeffer and Sutton for some time, and I'm glad to see it picked up by Pink and backed-up with seemingly credible research.

In addition, this work seems to be a nice complement to Teresa Amabile's research I've noted in a previous post.

What's the short story? That the traditional Carrot-and-Stick approach to motivating employees is just plain out-of-date and doesn't reflect what science knows about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. I'm sure you intuitively knew this already.

We are intrinsically motivated purpose maximizers, and not just extrinsically motivated profit maximizers. People need to be free to be creative and self-directed in order to let them flourish at work. Yes, easier said than done. But knowing and acknowledging it is the first step...



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