Tag Archives: Daniel H. Pink

One Size Fits All; Right?! – Not Any More (Motivation 3.0 Has Arrived)

One Size Fits All; Right?! – Not Any More.  This is true in so many ways.  And one way is “motivation.”  In the old days, the days that Daniel Pink calls Motivation 2.0, motivation was simple.  Carrots and sticks. Going back to the days of Frederick Winslow Taylor:

You simply rewarded the behavior you sought and punished the behavior you discouraged.  The way to improve performance, increase productivity, and encourage excellence is to reward the good and punish the bad.  Rewarding an activity will get you more of it.  Punishing an activity will get you less of it.

But we have now moved into the new era of Motivation 3.0.  This is the premise of the book DRiVE:  The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink.  For much of the working population, we still need to use the carrot & stick/rewards approach.  In fact, Karl, my colleague at the First Friday Book Synopsis, presented a synopsis of the practical book, Make Their Day:  Employee Recognition that Works by Cindy Ventrice.  One key piece of advice is this:  “recognize unique contributions with personalized recognition.” And the book has tangible ways to make this work to maximum effect.  This is common, common-sense advice.  (It is also a critical part of the plan recommended in the terrific book Encouraging the Heart by Kouzes and Posner).

But, for the newest “heuristic” workers (Pink’s term), there must be a new understanding of and approach to motivation.  Here is my attempt to summarize the key findings in Pink’s book:

The Three Elements

Of Motivation 3.0

What This Might Mean/

Might Look Like

Autonomy:  a renaissance of self-direction “ROWE” – Results Only Work Environment – everyone is/has to be/wants to be a self-starting, self-directing person
Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters (only engagement leads to mastery) (to learn, to create, to better the world) Individuals always keep learning.  With deliberate practice.  (the 10,000 hour rule, with deliberate practice — deep, deepening abilities)
Purpose:  very simply, doing something that matters because it should matter; something done in the service of something larger than ourselves Either have a product/service that matters; or, provide “work time” to do something that matters…

And here is Pink’s own “twitter length” summary of his book:

“Carrots & sticks are so last century.  Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery, & purpose.”

Who should read the Pink book?  If you work alone, and you have to be your own self-starting, self-directed worker, you should read it.  If the people you supervise are heuristic workers, you should read it.

And what is a heuristic job – any job that requires creativity, any job that creates something “new.”  From the book:

Working as a grocery checkout clerk is mostly algorithmic.  You do pretty much the same thing over and over in a certain way.  Creating an ad campaign is mostly heuristic.  You have to come up with something new…

Whatever your own job, you should read it.  Because, more and more, you will have to rely on internal/intrinsic motivation.  Because, in my opinion, “carrots and sticks” will slowly disappear from the scene.  Because, to quote Pink again:

…in today’s environment, people have to be ever more self-directed.  “If you need me to motivate you, I probably won’t hire you.”


{To watch Dan Pink speaking on the key principles found in this book, from a recent Ted Conference, go here).

(I presented my synopsis of Drive this morning at the First Friday Book Synopsis. The two synopses from this morning will be available soon, with audio + handout, at our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com.  And, Encouraging the Heart is available on the site now).

Vote for Androgynous Leadership

Cheryl offers: There’s a lot of debate in the media right now over whether or not more women in the upper ranks of the financial leadership ranks would have prevented the current economic situation.  In most of them, women and men seem to get “labeled” with all kinds of characteristics, usually stated as if they were fact based on profound research; usually they are not.  Samuel Taylor Coleridge once said. “The truth is, a great mind must be androgynous” and I tend to agree with him. This infers a great mind would have both female and male characteristics (the best of both worlds so to speak).  In Daniel H. Pink’s book, “A Whole New Mind – Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future” he proposes the idea we are moving from the Information Age, dominated by an economy and society built on logical, linear, and computer-like capabilities (think left brain hemisphere and robotic traders on Wall Street) to one called the Conceptual Age characterized by inventive, empathetic, big picture thinking found primarily in the right hemisphere of the brain.  Hmmm…makes me wonder if he’s not right! How different would our world be if the financial world had not been driven so much by numbers and had instead considered the long-term big picture with an empathetic view on the potential impact on those being affected. This is neither a male nor female view of the world. It’s androgynous and requires the whole brain to be engaged. Research has repeatedly proven more women in upper ranks of leadership will produce better financial and qualitative results. I vote for androgynous leadership rather than new financial laws!

Sara adds:   I hadn’t thought about leadership that way, but I like it.  Imagine a world where leaders are assessed by the competencies rather than gender or ethnicity!  It echoes Jim Collins’ idea of leadership in Good to Great.   “Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company.  It’s not that Level 5 leaders have no ego or self-interest.  Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious – but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves. “  It is the best of both genders – just think consider the possibilites!