Motivation 3.0

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink is a good book to have in your library. Daniel Pink’s Cocktail Party Summary is below:

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 the science shows the way. This new approach has three essential elements: (1) Autonomy-the desire to direct our own lives; (2) Mastery-the urge to get better and better at something that matters; and (3) Purpose-the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

He makes two simple points in his book: Goldilocks Tasks and Sawyer Effect.

First, they provide employees with what I call “Goldilocks tasks” –challenges that are not too hot not too cold, neither overly difficult nor overly simple. One source of frustration in the workplace is the frequent mismatch between what people must do and what people can do. When what they must do exceeds their capabilities, the result is anxiety. When what they must do falls short of their capabilities, the result is boredom.

Sawyer Effect: A weird behavioral alchemy inspired by the scene in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in which Tom and friends whitewash Aunt Polly’s fence. This effect has two aspects. The negative: Rewards can turn play into work. The positive: Focusing on mastery can turn work into play.


2 thoughts on “Motivation 3.0

  1. I have never read Dan Pink but will pick up the book as I do agree with the principles of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

    I do believe in discovering what is important to each individual at which point you will discover what motivates them. We should keep aware lives change so priorities change in people’s lives as they grow.

    Thanks for the interesting book suggestion.

    – Joy

  2. I’m a big fan of Dan Pink and often hear him mentioned at leadership seminars. I have 2 of his books on my Amazon wishlist right now!

    I believe finding ways to motivate people correctly is important on many levels. In my case, I work to increase software adoption for companies. This means pairing the correct business process, with the correct training given to each user to give them the “Goldilocks Effect”.

    2 other books I’d recommend – “Good to Great” by Collins and “The Accidental Salesman”. Both talk in depth about motivation and being a leader (even if it’s self leadership)


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