Sunday, 13 May 2012

Drive by Daniel H Pink - Book Review

Daniel H Pink's Drive is a study of what motivates people and its conclusions are as relevant for individuals as they are for organisations.

The essence of Pink's argument is that the secret to achieving high performance in the work place is to shift from "Extrinsic" reward-based motivators, such as bonuses; to "Intrinsic" motivators, such as having greater autonomy, having the opportunity to master what we do, and having a sense of a (higher) purpose.

The book is divided into three sections.
  1. The first engages with the body of research on what motivation, which indicates that traditional motivational techniques of carrots and sticks ("Motivation 2.0") are flawed. Indeed, he argues that (extrinsic - "Type X") bonus cultures when applied in the wrong context can have the opposite to the desired effect, causing a short-term approach that can encourage unethical behaviour and addiction to the next reward. Instead, the key is to motivation are intrinsic ("Type I") rewards:
  2. The second expands on the three pillars of an intrinsic motivational culture ("Motivation 3.0): Autonomy (over Task, over Time, over Technique, over Team), Mastery (is a Mindset, is Pain, is an Asymptote) and Purpose (words - policies - goals).
  3. The third section provides a handy summary in the form of a "Type I Toolkit" of how these principles for individuals, organisations, parents and educators.

Drive is an excellent book and I thoroughly recommend it to all who aspire to lead teams or organisations.

The ideas that underpin Drive have important implications for education. I will discuss these in subsequent blogposts in the coming weeks.

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