According to the author, “When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating...moreAccording to the author, “When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system— which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators—doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade. And the science shows the way” (p. 204).
Daniel H. Pink is a best-selling author and former speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore. In this book, he synthesizes research from psychology and economics to provide a new explanation for why people are motivated. The book includes many examples and a series of exercises at the end so that readers can develop their own ways of thinking about motivation. You can a video of Pink discussing his ideas at ted.com.
The Failure of Motivation 2.0
Pink outlines three basic ways to explain human motivation. Motivation 1.0 was the period of time when humans were motivated to survive—finding food and shelter and avoiding predators. Motivation 2.0 was characterized by the Industrial Age when humans did monotonous jobs and were motivated by pay and other incentives. Today, Pink argues that humans are more intrinsically motivated and doing creative work. Yet we still use external motivation in many ways, which is not effective. Pink cites these specific examples of how carrots-and- sticks motivators fail: • They can extinguish intrinsic motivation; • They can diminish performance; • They can crush creativity; • They can crowd out good behavior; • They can encourage cheating, shortcuts, and unethical behavior; • They can become addictive; • They can foster short-term thinking. External motivators can be effective for rewarding routine tasks, if they are unexpected, and if they are non- tangible.
Encouraging Type I Behaviors
Pink labels behavior that is externally motivated as Type X and that which is motivated internally as Type I. He argues that today, Type I behavior is more common and should be encouraged. Three elements are key to Type I behavior: autonomy, mastery and purpose. To encourage autonomy, people must be in control of: • The tasks they perform; • The time when they work; • The technique used to complete the task; • The team they work with.
People should also be encouraged to develop mastery of their work, reaching a state of “flow.” To do so, people must develop a mindset that embraces mastery, the perseverance to master a subject, and the knowledge they will never do so.
Finally, people must have a clear purpose for their lives. They must have goals, they must use purpose-oriented language, and workplace policies must promote the quest for the higher good. Pink writes, “It’s our nature to seek purpose. But that nature is now being revealed and expressed on a scale that is demographically unprecedented and, until recently, scarcely imaginable” (p. 144-145).(less)
Peter Bregman is an author and business consultant whose book 18 Minutes provides a good way to focus on your life in the year ahead. Some of my key t...morePeter Bregman is an author and business consultant whose book 18 Minutes provides a good way to focus on your life in the year ahead. Some of my key takeaways from this book.
1. Find your focus for the coming year by leveraging your strengths, embracing your weaknesses, asserting your differences, and pursuing your passions. Bregman says to focus on around 5 goals for the coming year, with a mix of professional and personal goals.
2. Prior to each day, you should review your plan to be sure you'll do work in your areas of focus and at the end of each day, you should review what you learned, accomplished, and should focus on in the coming day. And, at the top of each hour, review the past hour to evaluate how productive you've been. This is where the 18 minutes in the title comes from: five minutes at the beginning, five minutes at the end, and 8 minutes through out the day. 3. Mastering distractions from yourself or others can help you live in the moment and not lose focus on your overall goals.
4. For me, his advice to slow down and pause--whether at the end of the week or during a conversation--will be very useful.
Overall, there is nothing too remarkable about this book, but it is a quick read that provides good reminders for those of us who lead busy lives. Most useful to me are the 3 sets of questions that can help review the day: • How did the day go? What success did I experience? What challenges did I endure? • What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do--differently or the same--tomorrow? • Whom did I interact with? Anyone I red to update? Thank? Ask a question of? Share feedback with?
I'll be sure to integrate these with my daily rituals.
Randy Dobbs has had a series of CEO positions with several large companies. In each case, he transformed the culture of the organization and shares hi...moreRandy Dobbs has had a series of CEO positions with several large companies. In each case, he transformed the culture of the organization and shares his blueprint for doing so in this book.
At the essence of his "Secret Sauce" formula are the following: 1. Communication 2. Vision 3. Engaging senior leaders to take ownership for change 4. Having the right people to implement change 5. Changing the culture 6. Achieving financial results
The book has a good number of concrete examples to make clear the ideas he is discussing.
I would highly recommend this book for senior leaders who are taking on new positions. He provides very detailed examples of how he approached three very disparate types of organizations and how he started to make change in those organizations.
In short, this book provides a very practical account of how to become a transformational leader. (less)