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DRIVE by Daniel H. Pink

DRIVE

The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

By Daniel H. Pink

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59448-884-9
Publisher: Riverhead

Pop-psychology/business guide debunks the increasingly antiquated concept of financial remuneration as a motivational tool—and offers a better idea.

It’s easy to sell the notion that work could be considerably more fulfilling, but Wired contributing editor Pink (A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age, 2005, etc.) makes a compelling argument that actually sounds plausible and implementable. Through a series of clinical studies, anecdotes and expert testimony, the author builds the case against extrinsic motivation, arguing that monetary rewards (or “carrots and sticks”), while effective for repetitive tasks, are actually detrimental in situations that call for more creative thinking or cognitive reasoning. Given that ingenuity and innovation underpin the 21st-century economy, Pink contends that the key to success—and subsequent happiness and fulfillment in the workplace—is nurturing intrinsic motivation, which involves three key components: autonomy (having control over task, time, team and technique), mastery (being fully engaged in a task with a desire for constant improvement) and purpose (contributing to something larger than one’s self). After convincingly demonstrating the importance of restructuring the workplace to emphasize these components, Pink provides a toolkit for managers, parents, teachers and individuals on how to tap into sources of intrinsic motivation. Though the latter section occasionally devolves into an overly enthusiastic new-age self-help tome, the book’s main premise is significant. The author presents an integral addition to a growing body of literature that argues for a radical shift in how businesses operate in a world dominated by technology, and soon to be led by a generation that doesn’t necessarily equate money with happiness.

Important reading for frustrated but open-minded business leaders struggling to connect with stressed-out workers.