Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people—at work, at school, at home. It's wrong. As Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) explains in his paradigm-shattering book Drive, the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today's world is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn a...

Title:Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1594488843
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:242 pages

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Reviews

  • Doug

    Some good ideas, but for once I'd like to see a book where the case studies about flexible scheduling and autonomy don't involve software companies or consultants. I'd like to see an example where they motivate DMV employees to work harder to do the same menial work, but if giving DMV employees 20% flex time for their own projects means a corresponding 20% increase in the 2 hour wait time, I'm not on board with it. I don't know why, but it bugs me when authors use software version numbers, the b

    Some good ideas, but for once I'd like to see a book where the case studies about flexible scheduling and autonomy don't involve software companies or consultants. I'd like to see an example where they motivate DMV employees to work harder to do the same menial work, but if giving DMV employees 20% flex time for their own projects means a corresponding 20% increase in the 2 hour wait time, I'm not on board with it. I don't know why, but it bugs me when authors use software version numbers, the book extensively compares old antiquated motivation 2.0 and new upgraded motivation 3.0 and I get it, 3 is better than 2.

  • Phoebe

    Only the first chapter is necessary. The rest is repetitious and filled with soon-to-be-obsolete computer metaphors.

    However, I've been thinking a lot about this book since I read it (a few weeks ago?), so two stars was perhaps a stingy rating. Everywhere I go lately, I see examples of poorly-designed systems, destined to kill people's intrinsic motivation.

    I recently read "Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn. Kohn's premise is basically that rewarding and punishing children for acting in cert

    Only the first chapter is necessary. The rest is repetitious and filled with soon-to-be-obsolete computer metaphors.

    However, I've been thinking a lot about this book since I read it (a few weeks ago?), so two stars was perhaps a stingy rating. Everywhere I go lately, I see examples of poorly-designed systems, destined to kill people's intrinsic motivation.

    I recently read "Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn. Kohn's premise is basically that rewarding and punishing children for acting in certain ways only gives them extrinsic motivations to behave how you want and will therefore interfere with their moral development. It makes perfect sense to me that, if the reason a kid shares his toy is because he's after a sticker, he hasn't really learned about generosity.

  • Paul Eckert

    I can think of a few alternate titles for this book.

    “The Art of Beating a Dead Horse: Your Guide to Regurgitating the Same Point in Every Chapter”

    “How to Filter Years of Other People’s Research into Broad Talking Points”

    “You Too Can Write a Book With At Least 25% Filler Material”

    “The Fair and Balanced Guide to Selling Your Point By Avoiding Contradictory Evidence”

    I jest, yet I do think the main topic of this book is important and true. I will save you the pain of reading it by stating it here: p

    I can think of a few alternate titles for this book.

    “The Art of Beating a Dead Horse: Your Guide to Regurgitating the Same Point in Every Chapter”

    “How to Filter Years of Other People’s Research into Broad Talking Points”

    “You Too Can Write a Book With At Least 25% Filler Material”

    “The Fair and Balanced Guide to Selling Your Point By Avoiding Contradictory Evidence”

    I jest, yet I do think the main topic of this book is important and true. I will save you the pain of reading it by stating it here: people with non-routine jobs are more effectively motivated by intrinsic rewards rather than extrinsic rewards. People work better when they can have autonomy over their work and pursue mastery of their skills. Appealing to an employee’s desire for intrinsic satisfaction makes for a better long term outcome for both company and employee.

    The problem with Pink’s book is that he says almost the exact same thing in every chapter. Instead of a progression of ideas, we instead get a boring rehash of the main point, with slightly altered words. Most of this is done by recounting specific studies that prove his main point about intrinsic motivation. However, rarely does he ever mention when intrinsic motivation doesn’t work, except when he mentions “routine, non-creative jobs”. I’d say that a lot of jobs out there are rather routine and non-creative, and I think it’s a mistake to assume that intrinsic motivation has no application for these jobs at all. Additionally, I’m skeptical of anyone that doesn’t at least mention studies that seem to contradict their main idea, which Pink never does. He builds his case by selecting slices of numerous studies, then interpreting the results to fit his narrative.

    Pink also talks at length about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow. I have never read “Flow”, yet I hope the concept is better explained in his book, because in Pink’s book it makes no sense. “Flow” is supposed to describe the mindset of a person when they are deeply involved in something (i.e. a star baseball player swinging at a pitch, an author writing a book, etc.), and Pink tries to say that our whole day should be filled with “flow” moments. Sounds okay, but sometimes I think it’s good to have non “flow” moments. At any rate, this whole concept is under-explained and over-utilized in this book.

    The best part of this book was the concept of intrinsic motivation and how it should be applied in business. Also, it is important to note that extrinsic motivators like “if-then” rewards (e.g., ‘if’ we meet the sales quota, ‘then’ you’ll receive $300) can actually be detrimental to motivation.

    I wish Pink would have examined the concept of intrinsic motivation in different aspects of life rather than just business. I believe, if explored more thoroughly, it could be very revealing of many different aspects of human behavior. In fact, it would be more helpful to see which motivators are best suited to specific behavioral areas.

    All in all, this was a poorly written book with a very interesting idea at its core.

  • Trevor

    This book comes with its own summary – a very handy thing:

    “COCKTAIL PARTY SUMMARY

    When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system—which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators—doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade. And the science shows the way. This new approach has three essential elements: (1) Autonomy—the desire to direct our own lives; (2) Mastery—the urge to get better and better

    This book comes with its own summary – a very handy thing:

    “COCKTAIL PARTY SUMMARY

    When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system—which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators—doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade. And the science shows the way. This new approach has three essential elements: (1) Autonomy—the desire to direct our own lives; (2) Mastery—the urge to get better and better at something that matters; and (3) Purpose—the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.”

    Actually, it comes with a series of summaries, which I think is a really great idea. There is also a twitter summary and a chapter by chapter summary. Then there is a glossary and an index … this guy has taken to heart the ‘tell them you’re going to tell them, tell them and tell them you’ve told them’ advice. And although some reviewers have found all this annoying, I found it really useful. In fact, this is a very useful little book all around and one that nicely brings together lots of threads in the whole ‘motivation’ – ‘behavioural economics’ – ‘social theory’ nexus that I’ve taken an interest in lately.

    To tell you the truth, it is like this guy has been reading his way through my library. In fact, he has read more of my library than I have. Eventually I will get to Flow, for example – but he has beaten me to it, and I will also eventually read Talent is Over-rated – it is there beside the bed, but…

    The best of this book is that it confirms my prejudices (and, honestly, what is the point of having prejudices if not to have them confirmed?) One of my main prejudices is that money is a crap motivator. This is an idea that is discussed in part in The Upside of Irrationality, however, not nearly as well as it is discussed here. To explain this I am going to tell you a story about an ‘organisational improvement process’ I was involved in once when I was the resident union rat-bag at the City of Melbourne.

    Actually, the idea was a remarkably good one. I have a preference for processes that ask the people who do the work what their opinions are on how to make the work they do better. In fact, I’m not all that interested in ‘performance’ per se. I tend to think that performance is a function of other things and trying to fix performance is really tackling the problem from the wrong end. This improvement process was known as Qualitas (yes, I know, close to the worst word ever neologism-atized). The point was really good, though. It was for a team of us (four, in fact, two senior management and two union representatives) to go around the organisation and ask people what they do and if they thought there were better ways to do it. Staff were to come up with ways to make things better – according to a series of criteria – and then to work towards implementing the improvements they came up with. All good so far.

    Then the organisation made what was a fatal and (in hindsight and after having read lots of books on behavioural economics) completely predictable mistake. They linked the achievement of the improvements to a performance bonus.

    Now, you may be wondering how that could really be a fatal mistake. Surely, if people are going to be paid to do something they are going to want to do it well. Surely, they will also see how important a priority the organisation is making this and ‘put in the extra yards’ to really make things happen. Oh, if only humans were so simple.

    The problem is two fold. Firstly, staff had to put in many hours of work to achieve the things they set out to achieve in these improvements. Some of these things involved literally hundreds of hours work. But by linking this to pay people started adding up the additional time and effort and saying (quite rightly) that it simply didn’t add up. I can’t remember what people where going to get for achieving their aims – but I think it might have been a 1% pay bonus – or less than $10 per week on $50,000 (about average pay) before tax. People started to think they could do without the $6 a week after tax.

    Secondly, do you really think the organisation could afford to say staff hadn’t met their improvement objectives? And thirdly, as soon as it was linked to money people started to ‘aim low’. The point was to ‘make the target’ rather than the point of the process in the first place – to find ways to improve.

    In this book this problem would be discussed as a mismatch of motivators. Taking what ought to have been an intrinsic motivator and instead using an external motivator. And all this comes back to the fundamental assumption underlying most of these problems, the idea that staff in organisations simply do not want to work and will only be motivated to work if they are either punished or rewarded. I’ve worked with people who have won the lottery (quite literally) and still kept coming to work (as they loved their jobs) – so I’ve never really believed that work is just about money.

    And if that is the only thing you learn from this book, it is a worthwhile investment of your time. I really liked this book – the ideas are clearly set out and it has to be a good thing if people are saying that people need to be trusted to prefer to achieve things rather than to do nothing. My experience has always been that if you create the right environment people will produce remarkable work. The idea in this book of 20% time (where staff are allowed to spend 20% of their time on projects of their own choosing) is very interesting. I would like to try this out in schools if I ever get the chance.

    This is a very worthwhile book – if you see it in a bookshop just flick to the back and read the chapter summaries – that should be enough to encourage you to buy the damn thing.

  • Laura

    What frustrates me is the main premise has a contradiction that is never addressed. He begins the book with some research on monkeys that demonstrated an innate interest in solving puzzles. He then goes on to describe his big premise which is that we are are in the midst of a major motivational shift. First our motivation was our biological drives. Then came a period of motivation from structure and oversight. And now we want autonomy to determine our own motivation. But Pink's presentation on t

    What frustrates me is the main premise has a contradiction that is never addressed. He begins the book with some research on monkeys that demonstrated an innate interest in solving puzzles. He then goes on to describe his big premise which is that we are are in the midst of a major motivational shift. First our motivation was our biological drives. Then came a period of motivation from structure and oversight. And now we want autonomy to determine our own motivation. But Pink's presentation on the monkeys demonstrates that 'even' they are intrinsically motivated to solve puzzles. His premise that since we've shifted to more creative tasks - a new age has arrived. We need to be more aware of intrinsic motivation and create the climate for it to flourish. I think it artificially makes us 'more' different than past generations. And he does acknowledge that past generations were successful in the old model. I don't think we've changed that much. Sometimes we like to be rewarded for accomplishing simple tasks efficiently and other times we like to be challenged by something creative. And therefore the basic analysis seems incomplete. I do agree that motivation and goal setting is a tricky business that is often misunderstood. And negative results occur from seemingly good intentions - rewarding people to do something they want to do for an intrinsic reason. It's difficult for me to let go of this flaw. By overstating the shift, the book plays into the sense of "oh no the world is getting more complex so we have to get more creative".

    So while the book covers some good ideas about motivation, I am cautious about the presentation.

  • Ken

    Why am I writing this review on Goodreads, anyway? I'm not getting paid for it. There are plenty of other things I should be doing. And it's not like I have a coterie of devoted followers waiting with bated breath for my next review (in fact, the vast majority of reviews I write here get zero comments and zero "likes"). So why, then?

    DRIVE has the answer. I do it for me. I do it for intrinsic reasons and thumb my nose at the world of extrinsic ones. I do it because I derive personal pleasure from

    Why am I writing this review on Goodreads, anyway? I'm not getting paid for it. There are plenty of other things I should be doing. And it's not like I have a coterie of devoted followers waiting with bated breath for my next review (in fact, the vast majority of reviews I write here get zero comments and zero "likes"). So why, then?

    DRIVE has the answer. I do it for me. I do it for intrinsic reasons and thumb my nose at the world of extrinsic ones. I do it because I derive personal pleasure from it, because it challenges me to summarize and critique succinctly, because I am free to be funny, irreverent, scholarly, deadpan, conventional, or wacky. Now THAT'S incentive!

    And you don't even have to read this whole book to get Daniel Pink's message. For one, he sums up each chapter in a pecan shell at the end of the book, so you can read

    instead next time you're at Barnes & Noble. Or you can visit the TED website and watch Pink sum up his message in a speech for free. But if you want the dirty details, read the book. It's fast, it's easy, it's enlightening.

    The book is chiefly geared toward the business community, but has ramifications for all of us and, in my case, for the education community (where I first saw it recommended). It debunks the myth of the carrot and stick, that rewards get results and sticks get results -- always. No, no, no. Science, Pink says, proves otherwise. And he parades one case study after another to make his point.

    Perhaps the most salient is the encyclopedia example. Back in 1995, Microsoft paid writers big bucks to write Encarta, an encyclopedia it sold on CD and as software. Only, around 10 years later, Bill Gates' boys had to wave the white flag and fold up camp, vanquished and defeated by a competitor that paid no one -- not a bloody dime -- and offered its encyclopedia for free. That competitor? Wikipedia. Written by everyday Joes and Josephines the world over. For nothing.

    Then there was the Swedish blood bank. Its administrators decided to cash in by switching from a donation model to a pay-to-bleed model. What happened? Blood donations plummeted. Why? Swedes preferred to give blood for humane reasons, not for blood money. They did it for intrinsic reasons, not extrinsic ones.

    So what does this mean to businesses? It means the old ways of dictatorial managers overseeing not-to-be-trusted worker bees are over. If, Pink says, you give workers THREE gifts -- autonomy, mastery, and purpose -- they will work like hell for you (because it's as much for THEM). In many ways it makes sense. Given the choice, humans will work for less money if a company offers them more leeway, creative outlets, flexibility, challenges with long-term goals, camaraderie, and

    (so to speak).

    Pink points to our childhoods. We're all born with a built-in hunger to learn, to challenge ourselves, to WORK, but schools (and then workplaces) beat it out of us with monotony and inanity, dullness and repetition. What if you got a "FedEx Friday" every week -- a day to work on any project toward the company's cause you wished, as long as you presented your results to co-workers and admins the following Monday? That's how Post-It notes were invented by a guy at 3M. The company gave its workers time to manage and challenge themselves. Voila!

    In education, it amounts to adding relevancy to the classroom. What's the point? How does this connect to the world and how can it be used in the student's future? Can we give students choice, provide the tools, and turn them loose while serving as mentors? Oddly, many teachers cannot and will not because they feel like they will be ceding control AND because they will no longer be doing their job the way they have always done it and/or the way THEIR teachers always did it to THEM (oh, sins of the fathers!).

    So, yeah. If you don't know the lessons of DRIVE, you should jump on the

    and get up to speed. Really. It's not just for work -- it's for you, too. Motivate yourself. Check it out.

  • Jeanette

    So, I listened to this entire book about motivation, and I can't figure out why I don't feel motivated to write a review. No carrot, no stick, no review.

  • Ian

    The story of GoodBetterBestReads has really only just begun, but we have already become the world’s largest community of potential readers, book buyers and Kindle users who have star-rated a book at least once in the last 12 months.

    The problem is you can’t buy a condo or a beer off the back of potential alone. We need people to buy books, and to do that we need people who can sell books.

    That’s where you

    The story of GoodBetterBestReads has really only just begun, but we have already become the world’s largest community of potential readers, book buyers and Kindle users who have star-rated a book at least once in the last 12 months.

    The problem is you can’t buy a condo or a beer off the back of potential alone. We need people to buy books, and to do that we need people who can sell books.

    That’s where you come in.

    If you were ever interested in reading, writing, reviewing, we want to speak to you. We want you on our team.

    We could harness your skills and change your mind set for ever. We could help you exchange old passions for new.

    Ever wanted to turn your passion into a career? Easy. We could help you transition from your love of books to a love of sales.

    Look at it this way. There are so many books available now, it would be a crime not to try to sell them.

    There’s nothing we’ve got that we can’t sell. Without a little help from you.

    We love books, but let’s face it, we love them even more when they’re at your place.

    So we need you to find a home for every book we could possibly think of selling.

    And guess what, we’re totally format-neutral. Tree books, we’ve got warehouses. E-books, we’ve got cyberspace. But to be honest, if we could shift more ebooks, our staff wouldn’t have to work in smelly warehouses. Think about it. Our staff come first.

    Do you know what the biggest problem about a community is?

    The 80/20 rule? Heard of that? It’s worse in cyberspace. Let us tell you. You won’t believe this. 99% of reviews on GoodBetterBestReads are written by less than one percent of the members.

    Did you hear that? 99%! Let’s repeat it. 99%. Let’s repeat it. 99%.

    Now, the thing is, we thought that by getting one percent to do all the writing, we could sell to the 100%.

    We placed a lot of trust in the one percent. Can you see our dilemma? A lot of people’s welfare depended on the one percent.

    What would happen to our cocktails and our cars and our condos, if the one percent staged a strike? Exactly, you know what we mean. You probably feel the same about your job. VULNERABLE!!! Let’s repeat it. VULNERABLE!!!

    Let’s be totally honest with you. Our original business model was flawed. It was too highly dependent on community. There is only so long that the one percent will carry the 99%. And it’s not long. It’s unsustainable. Especially if your exit strategy is a sale to an online bookseller.

    We suppose we could have encouraged the 99% to do more selling. But honest, what we really want them to do is more buying.

    So, guess what, we decided to approach the problem a different way.

    What if we could reduce our dependence on the one percent? What if less people, not more, could write all of the reviews?

    So now we're going to get our staff to write the reviews. It's so brilliant, it's a wonder we didn't think of it earlier.

    This is our opportunity to talk about you.

    If you’re bright...If you’re talented...If you love books...If you love writing...If you love reviewing...don’t worry, it doesn’t matter.

    We just need you to punch out reviews.

    Our mission is to help people find and buy books they love. If that’s your kind of story, let’s do business.

    Our goal: Two million staff reviews in three years!

    Just think, you could write 30,000 of them!


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