- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Riverhead Books; Reprint edition (April 5 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594484805
- ISBN-13: 978-1594484803
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 22.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 227 g
- Average Customer Review: 50 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Paperback – Apr 5 2011
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"Pink makes a convincing case that organizations ignore intrinsic motivation at their peril."
"Persuasive . . .Harnessing the power of intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic remuneration can be thoroughly satisfying and infinitely more rewarding."
"These lessons are worth repeating, and if more companies feel emboldened to follow Mr. Pink's advice, then so much the better."
-Wall Street Journal
"Pink is rapidly acquiring international guru status . . . He is an engaging writer, who challenges and provokes."
"Pink's ideas deserve a wide hearing. Corporate boards, in fact, could do well by kicking out their pay consultants for an hour and reading Pink's conclusions instead."
"Pink's deft traversal of research at the intersection of psychology and economics make this a worthwhile read-no sticks necessary."
"[Pink] continues his engaging exploration of how we work."
"Pink's a gifted writer who turns even the heaviest scientific study into something digestible-and often amusing-without losing his intellectual punch."
-New York Post
"A worthwhile read. It reminds us that those of us on the right side of the brain are driven furthest and fastest in pursuit of what we love."
-Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Pink's analysis--and new model--of motivation offers tremendous insight into our deepest nature."
"Important reading...an integral addition to a growing body of literature that argues for a radical shift in how businesses operate."
"Drive is the rare book that will get you to think and inspire you to act. Pink makes a strong, science-based case for rethinking motivation--and then provides the tools you need to transform your life."
-Dr. Mehmet Oz, co-author of YOU: The Owners Manual
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Top customer reviews
Motivation in the workplace is something that one may perceive as a manager's or supervisor's responsibility. Drive provides the insight for one to understand that perhaps some of the best motivation we have comes from within, intrinsic (Type I) rather than extrinsic (Type X). To lead a younger workforce, with different priorities than our parents, companies must embrace the concepts presented by Pink and forget that the carrot and stick approach will solve all woes.
The book is the right length to introduce the subject of motivation and provides a great list of further readings and references. Well worth reading from a business leader AND a worker.
It draws upon a lot of psychological and behavioural scientific and academic research.
It should be a mandatory read for many staid corporations and all university students including
business, enginèering, psychology and economics
Dan Pink has done his usual fine work in Drive by:
1. Identifying the relevant scientific research
2. Turning the findings into brief, reader-friendly material
3. Simplifying the key points into a few principles to remember
4. Comparing and contrasting those points with what prevailing practices are in larger organizations
If you are already familiar with the literature of creative motivation, you won't find anything new here. If you don't read that literature, Mr. Pink will take you to where you should want to go with a minimum of time and effort on your part.
The key point is that people respond to more than money in getting their work done. And the more you need someone to use all their resources, the more money becomes a hurdle to success rather than an aid . . . by narrowing focus too much.
Here's a personal example that I remember well that shows the same point. As a poverty-stricken undergraduate, I never saw a psychology experiment that I didn't want to participate in . . . as long as it paid. One such experiment involved memorizing some nonsense material over a series of sessions. I could usually do it relatively quickly. One night my girl friend was in a big rush to go out, but I needed to get paid by the experimenters before I could afford to take her out. I decided I would try much harder than usual so I could get done faster and be on my way with the money. Wrong! I thought I was never going to finish that experiment. The harder I tried, the worse I did. The experimenter was obviously astonished by all the trouble I was having. I'm sure I messed up that set of results for some graduate student.
I've also seen this problem occur where company executives have an opportunity to gain undreamed-of wealth. They get so focused on the money that they don't see anything else, and they make a lot of mistakes that they wouldn't if little money were involved.
As well documented as these points are, don't expect Wall Street banks and automotive companies to quickly switch over to encouraging autonomy, mastery, and purpose instead of paying big salaries and bonuses. Carrots and sticks involving money are in place because they pay well for those on the receiving end . . . not because they reward shareholders well.
The key problem with drawing all your lessons about motivation from this book is that the number of applications to work environments that have been well studied scientifically is pretty limited. My research suggests that there are lots of important motivating factors for doing good work that exist in addition to autonomy, mastery, and purpose. For instance, most workers tell you that they don't have the resources they need to do a good job . . . and that discourages them. In addition, most workers don't feel respected by those who are in charge of their work . . . which also discourages them. If you want a longer list, read Dilbert or visit someone in a cubicle. And those are just removing negative influences. There are other positive influences as well, including being faithful to God, expressing love to others, and being loyal to friends.
You also have to address whether the most important management task is to make everyone more motivated so that they produce more . . . or to make a few people effective in creating astonishingly large improvements that ordinary people can learn to implement. My work suggests the latter route is the way to go. Most people would choose the former route.
However deep you plan to delve into this subject, Drive is a good starting point if you are new to thinking about how to encourage people to accomplish more.
The book is divided into three parts: a challenge to the commonly held notion and practice that we are motivated by a carrot and stick approach; an explanation of the three forces which really do drive us (autonomy, mastery and purpose); and a "toolkit" offering a broad range of practical advice. The summary concluding the three sections is very clever and effective.
Mr. Pink starts by explaining that three forces drive our behaviour: biological (e.g. hunger); rewards and punishments; and a third force well known to science but not to business or the public, called "intrinsic motivation." Historically, once our biological needs were satisfied, we organised our work lives for structural efficiency, employing carrot and stick incentives.
The fundamental problem with the current incentive system is that, although it can be effective for routine or repetitive activities such as Henry Ford's assembly lines, it is not well suited to more complex jobs. Because our tasks are more complex - no longer are we trying to increase the number of rivets per hour in a car door - carrot and stick approaches can distort outcomes, lead to unethical behaviour, or foster short term thinking, as we have recently seen in the financial sector. Worse, they do little to address the inherent satisfaction we feel from a job well done. Pink contends that to be effective in our modern economy, business needs to concern "itself less with the external rewards an activity brings and more with the inherent satisfaction of the activity itself."
Specifically, he identifies three elements needed to shift workers to be more productive. First, we need autonomy over tasks, time, team members, and technique. Second, we need mastery of our work. This requires us to see our abilities as improvable and requires effort, deliberate practice, and a recognition that we will never actually quite achieve perfection. Third, we need purpose - "goals that use profit to reach purpose", an emphasis on more than self-interest, and the ability to pursue the goals in our own ways.
Pay, we learn, is related more strongly to the first two types of drive (biological and behaviour/reward), and above a certain threshold, the inherent rewards of a job well done become more and more important. Pink notes that "people who are very high in extrinsic goals for wealth are more likely to attain that wealth, but they are still unhappy." Charles Dickens knew this intuitively when he wrote A Christmas Carol, but Daniel Pink explains why, and offers a legible prescription for curing what ails the system.
Daniel Pink has the final word. "The science shows that the secret to high performance isn't our biological drive or our reward-and-punishment drive, but our third drive - our deep-seated desire to direct our own lives, to extend and expand our abilities, and to make a contribution."
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