The best part about this book is the message. “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 science shows the way." (p203-4)
The author lists three essential elements of this new approach:
1) Autonomy—the desire to direct our own lives.
2) Mastery—the urge to get better and better at something that matters.
3) Purpose—the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
Given the values of Gen-Y and the increasing need for creativity, this is an important message and an important aspect of social sustainability.
The most discouraging thing about this book is also the message. Geez, Louise! Marsha and I were teaching this stuff, along with Self-Directed Teams in the 80’s and 90’s. Eric Trist and Tavistock, where socio-technical systems theory was born, was in the 60’s. Alfie Kohn’s work, Punished by Rewards, was released in 1993. Why does each generation of managers have to rediscover certain truths about human nature? Why is it so easy for the ‘system’ to revert to paternalistic, controlling paradigms?
Something worth emulating from this book is its structure. The table of contents includes little quotations from the text as an advance organizer. Then after engaging and witty chapters, he provides a set of tools for different audiences (how to help yourself, how to do this at work, how to do it at school). And at the very end, he provides a summary chapter, including a Twitter-length summary, the cocktail party summary and then a chapter by chapter summary. Brilliant.
Pink, Daniel (2009) Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. London, England: Riverhead Books. ISBN-13:978-159448480