Thursday 3 January 2013

8. Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. By Daniel H Pink.

The book examines intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the business world today putting forth the notion that most businesses have a reward system that is directly in conflict with what truly motivates people.

Drive begins with an examination of motivation over the past 100 years defining different levels of motivation and their relevance in the business world. Pink is quick to point out that research accomplished in motivation is in direct conflict with practises in the business world of the past and present. He labels three levels of motivation as 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 with the last being the pinnacle of intrinsic motivation.

With the notion of Motivation 3.0 being the best source for a company to tap, Pink examines how typical carrot and stick reward strategies algorithmic and heuristic tasks. He is careful to state that this kind of reward system works well in algorithmic task, but fall very short for heuristic tasks. There are some great examples of companies, for instance Google,  who seek innovation targeting Motivation 3.0 via allowing 20 percent of employees time to focus on personal interest tasks related to their job.

The book delves deeper into personality types and three elements of great motivation; autonomy, mastery and purpose. While this section does draw you in, once completed the rest of the book completely leaves you wanting. The last third of this book is almost worthless as it does little to expand upon a great first two thirds. To put it simply the research on motivation is outlined and exemplified, followed by a foundation of creating personal motivation and then nothing.

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