The Motivation Challenge – Is Your Company Up to It?

Posted: September 30, 2010 in career
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As I read a recent post on the plans of key employees to move on ( , I was reminded of Dan Pink’s excellent book, Drive.

Here is my take on this impressive tome:

Subtitled “The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” I must confess that this excellent book did not “surprise” me at all. That is not to take anything away from Pink’s conclusions, however. Simply stated, “there’s a gap between what science knows and business does.” Recounting early research that demonstrated clearly that the “carrot and stick” approach actually causes more damage than good, Pink makes a strong case for the need for a Motivation 3.0, where the reward is the activity itself (Motivation 1.0 was all about survival, Motivation 2.0 used rewards and punishments). Motivation 3.0 aligns itself with Type I personalities (Intrinsic motivation, experiencing what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “flow”), while Motivation 2.0 feeds the Type X personality (concerned with External rewards). Pink describes the three key components of Motivation 3.0 with clarity and insight, providing practical examples throughout the book. They are 1) Autonomy (in task, time, team and technique), 2) Mastery (a mindset, painful experience and an “asymptote” – impossible to fully realize), and 3) Purpose (in goals, words and policies).

Ever the practical author, Pink completes this excellent book with suggested activities to achieve Type I for individuals, organizations, compensation and parents/teachers. The book closes with a reading list, examples of six business leaders who “get it,” a recap of his book (even in 140 character “twitterese”) and a glossary of the terms used in his espousal of Motivation 3.O, The reader is even introduced to a site to measure Type I or Type X behavior.

A truly exceptional book with extraordinary insights on what constitutes true motivation.

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