Daniel Pink has written many thought provoking books. Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others. 2012 are a few of them.
In Drive, Pink challenges theories on what motivates people. Pink asserts that the secret to high performance is a deep innate need of the human being to direct one’s life, to learn and create new things and to do better by ourselves and our world.
Pink gives account of decades of research on human motivation to prove what science thinks and what business does are two different things. We all know and studied that Carrot & Stick approach works in theory books. But in reality Pink says – this method extinguishes intrinsic motivation- as reward is assumed and expected, it crushes creativity. It encourages unethical behavior and fosters short term thinking, create addictions etc.
Pink calls the carrot-stick approach as a form of Motivation 2.0, this was built around external rewards & punishments. Financial rewards show improvements for short period of time. Pink says financial rewards have similar effect on brain as gambling or drugs, to be motivated we need more and more. For routine 20th century tasks this approach worked, but for 21st century, we need to upgrade from Motivation.2.0, as it is proving incompatible with how we organize what we do, how we think and how we do what we do. (Motivation1 is about only survival)
Motivation 2 fosters ‘Type X ‘ behavior – A behavior fueled more by extrinsic desires of getting reward /carrot for the tasks done. Need of hour is Motivation 3 – which fosters ‘Type-I’ behaviour . Type I relates less with extrinsic rewards an activity brings and more with inherent satisfaction of the activity itself.
We need to move on from Type X to Type I. ‘Type I’s are made and not born. Type I Behaviour leads to stronger performance, greater health and higher overall wellbeing.
(VISIT www.danpink.com/drive.html to know whether you are Type X or Type I person)
PINK examines the three elements of Motivation 3 – Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose – and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action.
Our default setting is to be autonomous and self-directed. Unfortunately with society, circumstances, and management we turn into Type X personality. To encourage Type I- behavior we need first thing as Autonomy. Having control and say on what we do, how we do and when we do any activity or tasks leads to high performance.
New age companies which offer autonomy are outperforming old guards. Google gave employees autonomy to do whatever they want in 20% of time—wonderful things came out of this creative time – Gmail and Google News.
Type I behavior which is foundation of Motivation 3 needs engagement unlike compliance in Motivation 2. Becoming better at something matters – Pursuit of mastery builds the flow of work – Challenges are exquisitely matched to our abilities. Mastery is mindset-it requires the capacity to see your abilities not finite but s infinitely improvable. Mastery is pain as demands grit and more work. It’s impossible to fully realize potential- so Mastery at the same time is frustrating &Alluring.
Humans by their nature seek purpose – a cause greater and more enduring than themselves. In Motivation 3, Purpose maximization is taking its place alongside profit maximization as an aspiration and guiding principle. People want a purpose-filled life and work. For the first time, this made more sense to me as a feasible goal because Pink couples it with the other two concepts of autonomy and mastery.
The bottom line
There is a huge mismatch between what science knows and what business does. Yet whenever there is a gap, it means there is opportunity. The companies that understand how to motivate the workers of tomorrow will be the ones that “drive” us forward. I recommend this book highly for anyone managing people.