It has been months since the last meeting of the Federal News Radio Book Club. Well, it’s back — and with a book that I think will really get you to think. The book is titled Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink. The book is a fascinating analysis of what gets us actually carry out actions. More in just a moment, but first…
Before I get to some details of the book, a reminder on the Federal News Radio Book Club:
This is something akin to the Oprah book club. You don’t have to be anywhere — we’ll hold the book club “meeting” right on the air on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris. In addition to the author, Daniel Pink, we will also have some experts in the government world so we can discuss how it touches how this market works. We invite your thoughts, questions and observations on the book — before, during and after.
The book Drive is about what motivates people. And I thought it was particularly intriguing given where the government market is with a relatively antiquated pay system. And I decided that this book was particularly relevant based on two significant developments in the past year:
The crux of the argument in this book is that pay-for-performance systems simply don’t work all that well. It is essentially a carrot-and-stick approach, and there is ample evidence that the carrot-and-stick is actually ade-motivator. A caveat: These are for information age jobs. And he argues that there are better ways to motivate people.
Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake, Daniel H. Pink says in, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, his provocative and persuasive new book. The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.
Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He demonstrates that while carrots and sticks worked successfully in the twentieth century, that’s precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today’s challenges. In Drive, he examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose—and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action. Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward.