Five Degrees Book Club discussion

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Drive by Daniel Pink

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message 1: by Clare (new)

Clare Coonan | 5 comments I just received my copy of Drive - I'm still an old fashioned reader and like to have the book in my hands! I'm looking forward to diving into the book and getting our discussion started on Friday!


message 2: by Clare (new)

Clare Coonan | 5 comments Happy Friday! I've been cozied up to the fireplace drinking my tea and enjoying the first chapter of Drive. I'm intrigued by his idea of a new evolution in what drives us - I guess moving to what he considers Motivation 3.0, although that has not yet arrived.

I loved reading his thoughts on the "B Corporation" or the "for benefit corporation". I've been hearing more about this in the past few months and I agree that it is a big movement that is gaining momentum. We really do have three drives - biological, extrinsic (reward and punishment) and intrinsic. What would the corporate world look like as the intrinsic drive becomes more relevant and accepted (or maybe acknowledged.)

How do you see these three drives interact in your own work?


message 3: by Monica (new)

Monica Garcia | 2 comments I am really interested in his thoughts on how creative roles are principally driven by intrinsic motivation. I work in a scientific community, where the pleasure of dicovery is probably motivation enough, where people thrive when there are interesting problems to solve and opportunities to collaborate. Unfortunately, organisations choose to use extrinsic rewards as a motivator - this can be result in a total lack of engagement between the individual and the organisation.
His descriptions of "types" is also fascinating. Type I and type X, and the fact that being a type I (intrinsically motivated) is purely a result of being taught - something to think about for future generations.


message 4: by Clare (new)

Clare Coonan | 5 comments Lovely to hear from you Monica! I think I'm mainly intrinsically motivated, but I do enjoy a good extrinsic reward. I haven't gotten to the types yet. I've thought about some of the performance evaluation systems and the process of ranking people - it seems that system is contra-indicated by Pink's theories. I'm wondering if he addresses how to help construct new, more 3.0ish systems of motivators within companies - how to influence change within existing corporations who are using systems that dis-incentivize the Type Is?


message 5: by Christine (new)

Christine (christine_kennedy) | 2 comments Pink is so clear on what really motivates creative work. And yes, many of the performance evaluations and "calibration" are counter-productive for many of the innvoation positions that exists today. But more companies are putting in those systems to drive better performance.


message 6: by Clare (new)

Clare Coonan | 5 comments I've been thinking about this discussion all week, as I continue to read Drive. I have so many questions rolling around in my brain - I'm needing much longer runs to sort all of this out!

My first question is about what is working for you at the office? Describe your work situation when you were most motivated, everything you can think of that contributed to your motivation.

The follow up question is what is getting in your way of being motivated at work - these could be internal or external.

When I am most motivated I have a project that I'm working on and have the freedom and authority to do what needs to be done and I'm working with a group of people who are equally excited about the project we are doing. I also really like the people I'm working with. Finally, I believe that the project is going to make a positive difference to someone or group of people. OK - that was final - I also receive feedback as we are working that what we are doing is making a difference, or having the impact I desire. When I have all of this I'm excited to get up in the morning and get after the tasks at hand.

I'd love to read your answers!


message 7: by Monica (new)

Monica Garcia | 2 comments I most definitely feel motivated when I have freedom and ability to be creative without too many fixed ways to do things. ALso being with people that want the same things as me but with complementary skills (so the total is better than the sum...) - this brings a sense of energy to the workplace. My extrinsic motivation is "being appreciated" by this I mean that the results of my work, initiative,etc are going to be appreciated by someone ( i.e. they won't end up in areport at the bottom of someone's drawer!). The things that get in the way of motivation are too many processes, too many spreadsheets, too many "this must be done like this by tomorrow", firefighting in general. In the lab we are at an all time low on "employee engagement" and I firmly believe that it is the lack of independence that is leading to that as we work in a much more controlled environment than we used to.
I was also thinking about all of this in the context of education and wonder if motivation 2.0 is a bit self-perpetuating because there is so much "if...then" when we are growing up. I used to get very annoyed when my father used to say that good exam results were our own reward and that getting As did not qualify for a price, but I really get his point now and use it with my own kids. However, I do see children receiving disproportionately large presents for passing exams this days. So should motivation 3.0 start much sooner than in the workplace?


message 8: by Christine (new)

Christine Lee | 1 comments I feel like I've been completely immersed in this topic this week. Between reading "Drive" and attending an insight session in the city where corporate "motivation" systems and extrinsic rewards were a HOT topic, and visiting with some more women leaders on Wed evening, and then just several conversations I've had with different like-minded people - a thought is percolating...
I've had conversations with a few of our male leaders and their near obsession with the size of their paycheck is always striking. Where I think many women at our company don't really have this same obsession. Maybe we are released from this obsession because we are not generally the LONE wage earner in their families, or maybe we just have better things to focus on... But, overall, my sense is so many of us are where we are because we are passionate about what we're doing, we love thinking of creative solutions to big problems and the challenge of finding different ways to make things more efficient (so we can get on to the juicy fun and new stuff).
Don't get me wrong - a nice raise or bonus does give me a warm, happy feeling for a good few minutes, but it doesn't drive ME all year long.
So, I believe embracing "Drive"'s ideas of reinventing the way we motivate people really could be one giant leap toward our vision of gender balance in leadership. Now, we just need to figure out how it should be for us and how to make it happen...


message 9: by Christine (new)

Christine (christine_kennedy) | 2 comments Christine L,
I completely agree and you have articulated it better than I ever could have!

Christine K.


message 10: by Clare (new)

Clare Coonan | 5 comments I was out running again and I have this new question about Drive. I'm noticing some significant shifts from an old paradigm of business and leadership to a new paradigm, which seems to me to be a beautiful blend of the strengths and gifts of men and women. I'm paying attention to the Sustainability movement, to Corporate Social Responsibility, to Daniel Pink's theories of motivation, and I believe they are converging now for several reasons. One of those reasons is the massive entrance of women into the workplace and into positions of influence.

I've been thinking about our influence quite a bit. I believe leadership influence comes in many forms, not just the traditional form of moving up the corporate ladder into the top tier positions. I do believe that women are influencing the business world in ways we are not even able to measure right now. I think the shift to valuing emotional/social intelligence and the other things I mentioned is the result of our un-measured influence.


It's not that I don't want to work hard to inspire and help women achieve respected positions of leadership, but I'm wondering if we are limiting ourselves by thinking that that is the only way women will be able to influence the corporate and political world? The true paradigm shift is to re-think the structure of leadership. The question is not how can we get more women into traditional leadership positions, but how can we ensure that women's strengths and gifts are having an influential impact on the direction and decisions of our corporate and political world? Is there another way for us to be influential? Looking at the current transformation in the corporate world and the new direction of leadership - I'm saying YES - there is another way and we have found it. We just don't know how we accomplished it yet, so we can be even more strategic in the future.


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