Drive by Daniel Pink

Drive

Who?

People managers and anyone interested in interpersonal communication.

When?

Put it in your queue.

Why?

Drive is a fascinating book.

Best Quote

The monkeys solved the puzzle simply because they found it gratifying to solve puzzles. They enjoyed it. The joy of the task was its own reward.

Review

I loved this book in part because it gave me such an interesting look into what motivates me, my colleagues, my family members, and even my clients and customers. Having worked in marketing in several different verticals, I found some of Daniel Pink’s analysis and stories matched perfectly with what I have experienced. For example, let’s say that my employee is doing something they enjoy, and I want to reward them for it, so I give them a little bonus. They’re super happy and start working even harder, and I see that, so I resolve to give them a bonus every time they do that one thing.

After a while, they come to expect the bonus and therefore think of they activity in terms the money it results in and not the pleasure that it previously produced. So, what happens? At some point, they get decreasing marginal returns and decide that it’s not worth doing that activity instead of other things unless they get paid more. In this case, paying someone for doing something they enjoyed actually results in worse performance because, as soon as you introduce money into the equation, they start to think of things only in terms of money.

Of course, this is a greatly oversimplified example of one aspect of Daniel Pink’s Drive, but it really stuck out to me, and as I do work in a business that frequently deals with rewards, I found it highly relevant.

Last Word

Drive is a great book about what really motivates and demotivates people. Buy it.

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