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.