Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Just as important as "A Whole New Mind", November 28, 2009

By David Field (Merrimac, MA USA)

customer review

Daniel Pink's new book follows well in the tradition of "A Whole New Mind" as he picks up a new trend and explains it well. This time around, it's the apparent paradox of motivation - why do some people like Google pay their employees to work on projects of their choice on a regular basis, if they could work hard on what they were hired for?

Pink shows that there has always been a monetary motivation, but it has lost its appeal as we move from the top-down management system to the more heuristic style (the workers are free to decide how they do their job). He points out that repetitive jobs are more suited to traditional rewards, while money does not seem to motivate innovation.

I worked for a big company (which we call "EMC" because that's their name). Pretty much everyone I met was responsible for something, to the extent that supervisors were Enabler - you went to them and told them what to do. Supervisors could (and sometimes do) give you reasons why not, but they were not ready to come into your cabin and monitor you. And the greater your responsibility, the harder you have worked.

This system was completely different from anything I had encountered before. Most companies would pretend that their employees could not be trusted. And though I looked around nervously, I shone into that environment, and now I realized that they wanted me to.

Pink mentions Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (if that's new to you, look at it on Wikipedia), and I think he's right that now that there's a relatively well-paid group of workers, they're asking for a bit more than basic salary can. As Pink puts it, we need to feel that the work we do is worthwhile, and so we move to the top of Maslow's pyramid, realizing appreciation and self-realization.

I hope you have recognized some of the principles of your organization. However, I think it is unlikely that all pink principles have been adopted, so get this book now. It gives you much to think about and in the last section, Pink quotes people who have influenced his thinking.

Whether you run a business or consider yourself as "just an employee," you need to read this. It shows pretty much everything you know about what will lead you or your employees to a much better performance. It includes more than one employee of the week, and you may find that if you work in a place that does not use those principles, you may need to change jobs. But it will be worth it. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us