Customer Reviews


85 Reviews
5 star:
 (52)
4 star:
 (20)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If an hour is all the time you devote to motivation, this is the book to go for
In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Daniel H. Pink attempts a Malcolm Gladwell meets the One Minute Manager (The One Minute Manager) approach to getting some well known (and less than surprising) but not universally adapted findings about motivation across to the general public.

To start off with, the main theme of the book, namely that the...
Published on 19 Dec 2011 by AK

versus
70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important ideas in a padded out book
Summary: an important book that discusses an important topic. Everything is explained very well and laid out clearly. If you need to motivate people, whether that's employees, co-workers or even children, then you'll learn from this book.

Sometimes I wish Amazon would allow you to give a book half a star. Because, if I could, I'd rate this book 3.5 out of 5...
Published on 28 Feb 2011 by Andrew Lloyd Gordon


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If an hour is all the time you devote to motivation, this is the book to go for, 19 Dec 2011
By 
AK (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Paperback)
In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Daniel H. Pink attempts a Malcolm Gladwell meets the One Minute Manager (The One Minute Manager) approach to getting some well known (and less than surprising) but not universally adapted findings about motivation across to the general public.

To start off with, the main theme of the book, namely that the currently widely practiced pay for performance schemes hardly produce an improvement in the latter (and often lead to a drop in intrinsic motivation) in white collar or 'creative' environments is certainly correct and additional repetition of the message cannot harm. This is the reason I gave the book a 4 star rating, even if I find it more of a 3 star effort based on its content alone.

However Herzberg's Motivation to Work laid the main themes well enough a long time ago (and has been recognized as the classic in the field), so if you are familiar with his 'money is a hygiene factor and not a motivator' theme (so as soon as you pay people enough to take the money discussion off the table, it is best to leave it there) there will be little new for you here.

The book starts with a brief introduction on what the author calls Motivation 1.0 and 2.0, the latter being more or less in line with Taylorist management thinking. Unfortunately Pink buys the success of Taylor's scientific management, when applied to manual tasks wholeheartedly (something that has long been severely questioned - The Management Myth: Why the Experts Keep Getting it Wrong being a good place to start for an interested reader) and only questions the effectiveness, when more creative tasks are being rewarded. He then goes on describing the three real motivators, namely autonomy, mastery and purpose and how these demonstrably improve both motivation and performance. Finally, he finishes with a toolkit for bringing intrinsic motivation about, with checklists and short soundbites on what is necessary and how one could go about starting the journey.

The main authors quoted throughout are Edward Deci (Why We Do What We Do) and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow) and while there is little to fault in terms of any of their findings, or the presentation here, I find that an interested reader will be better served by the originals than the summarized findings of Pink's book.

This book likely works best for the harried manager, who really only can afford the time that can be squeezed into a short haul flight to get up to speed on motivation. For this it works better than the very popular One Minute Manager (The One Minute Manager) and Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life type books, as it does not break it down to a story that may find readers turned off by appearing patronizing.

Still, I find the author does not quite reach the writing talent of someone like Malcolm Gladwell, who in my opinion manages to package existing research into something novel and interesting, rather than make it appear like a summary of the main (but already relatively well known) findings on the topic.

If the company is yours, though, and you have more than just a handful of hours to devote to motivating your employees, you will be much better served by reading Herzberg, Deci and Csikszentmihalyi directly - all of them write well enough and you will get much more meat on what works, and what not than here.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Basic ideas that really work!, 28 July 2011
By 
This review is from: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Paperback)
"DRIVE" is a book that has been needed for a long time. It's about what motivates all of us and in particular, the misconceptions some people have, notably business leaders, about the subject. As author Daniel H. Pink points out in the introduction "I will show that much of what we believe about the subject just isn't so".

Pink does a great job of reviewing the literature and history of motivation in a way that is practical and easy to read. Above all, he explains things in a way that also makes it relevant for practising managers to implement. Pink pulls all of this together in what he describes as "Type I" behaviour - the things that really motivate us.

The book is in three parts. Part one explores the deficiencies of the reward/punishment dichotomy (after reading this, one wonders why so many organisations continue to pursue such fruitless processes as "pay for performance"). Part two introduces the three elements of "Type I" behaviour - autonomy, mastery and purpose. Part three provides some guidelines for implementing "Type I".

I really liked this book. As a keen student of motivation and one who has both managed others and trained many managers, it fits well with the philosophy I first picked up in the writings of Frederick Herzberg who popularised the "motivator/satisfier" model of motivation.

I've read some of the other reviews that suggest this book may be "basic" and "shallow". Basic it may be, and perhaps there is also some unnecessary padding. However, take it from one who has managed as few as two people to as many as 40 in three different organisations in both line and functional roles, these ideas do work in practise. And isn't that the real test?

People who will be inclined to read this book, are not the ones that should - they are most likely already converts to Pink's crusade. My suggestion is to read and then pass on this book to someone who can make a real difference in the way people are managed. These messages need to be spread far and wide otherwise people like Pink will still be writing about "motivation" in 50 years time without anything having changed in the interim.

Bob Selden, author What to Do When You Become the Boss: How New Managers Become Successful Managers
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars autonomy, mastery and purpose - all you need for a good life, 15 Oct 2010
The underlying theory of this book is that three ingredients make for a good and fulfilling life: autonomy, mastery and purpose. Pink produces an easy to read and compelling summary of the best research and literature on drive, motivation and happiness that will greatly enhance the understanding of the lay reader. There is also a toolkit designed to help you on your way, consisting of exercises such as running your own experiment to see what really makes you happy, deciding what 'your sentence' should be - i.e. one sentence that sums you up, or you hope will do in the future and a list of suggested further reading. All of it only makes the book more interactive and interesting. Thoroughly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important ideas in a padded out book, 28 Feb 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Paperback)
Summary: an important book that discusses an important topic. Everything is explained very well and laid out clearly. If you need to motivate people, whether that's employees, co-workers or even children, then you'll learn from this book.

Sometimes I wish Amazon would allow you to give a book half a star. Because, if I could, I'd rate this book 3.5 out of 5 rather than 3 stars.

It's a decent book that discusses an important topic - how and why people are motivated to do everything from the mundane to the marvelous.

The basic argument presented by Pink - which he bases upon proper research - is that for simple, 'boring' tasks, such as manual work, human beings respond to financial rewards. So, if you pay me 10 per hour to shovel coal, I'll work harder for you than if you only paid me 5 (all things being equal).

However, for more complex, professional managerial or 'white collar' activities, this model of pay and reward doesn't work. Indeed, it can be counter-productive and can damage motivation and productivity.

To learn why you should buy the book :)

The problem for me, is once you 'get' this main idea the book has few solid examples of how this theory has or could be applied.

Pink is a great writer. He has a talent for summarising the complex. He does this so well early on the book that I felt he had to keep repeating himself. Whilst I don't mind an argument being reinforced, this one is so obvious once you're exposed to it, that I felt the book had become padded out towards the end.

This is not to devalue the concepts presented. Absolutely not. I only wish more managers read this material and applied it. We'd all enjoy happier and more productive working lives if we did.

Although it's easy for me to be an 'armchair critic', I didn't enjoy this work from Pink as much as I'd expected.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and motivating - maybe even life-changing, 30 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Paperback)
As a teacher we're always told that praise is the key to success, that's something I believe, hence reading this book. What I wanted was insight into how to motivate and praise students and staff I work with. I got all that but also insights into some of my own actions and responses to situations. A great book, well worth reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy yet thought-provoking read, 6 Dec 2010
By 
Dawn Sillett (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
According to Daniel Pink, carrot and sticks methods of motivating people are soooo last century. So now what are employers, leaders, managers (and for that matter parents) supposed to do? Make some radical changes, according to Pink, because as he says, "there's a gap between what science says and business does." Only when we take heed of the science will we arrive at what he calls `Motivation 3.0'.

Pink gives compelling reasons - `7 deadly flaws' - why carrot and stick approaches don't work, ranging from encouraging unethical behaviour to short-termism and stunted creativity. There are some instances when carrot and stick are just fine: those routine tasks that are still a feature in even the most sophisticated job markets. However, if an organisation's measures of success are to do with creativity, originality and client or customer service, then Motivation 2.0 won't get them where they want to go.

What Pink has done in this book is harness the original research of others to back up his own take on contemporary ideas about motivation. Each of his assertions references a study to prove the point; household-name examples are frequently given. And it's all woven into this highly-readable and often amusing book. What's more, Pink provides succinct toolkits for individuals, teams, organisations, parents and educators to upgrade their motivation from the 2.0 system to the `I don't know how we managed without it' all-new 3.0 version. I think many leaders will react to `Drive' with a shrug of `we're already doing that'. But I also think those leaders will be squirming inside at the thought of what really delivering Motivation 3.0 will entail for them, because actually they're not doing that. Not really.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important relevant theory, short on ideas for action, 2 Mar 2012
This review is from: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Paperback)
A powerful case is made by Daniel Pink in this book for companies to get away from the expensive practice of managing others and the disempowering effect of incentives. With a clever blend of findings from different pieces of research on motivation and pioneering examples of companies who lead people by hooking their internal motivators he shows what a difference this can make to organisational performance and employee satisfaction. Having made such a strong well contsructed powerful case I was then really disappointed with the weak ideas for suggested actions people can make to move things in this direction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A celebration of human potential- mastery, autonomy, purpose, 27 Aug 2014
By 
Dr. Nicholas P. G. Davies (Halifax, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I enjoyed this book. I read it some years ago on a night flight back from America and fell asleep. I reread it recently whilst much more alert..

It's a good clear book that explains many of the problems with how we are motivated (usually by our employers) and with how we motivate other people.

There's basic carrots and sticks.
Then there's incentives- which tend to get more of the desired behaviour in the short term, whilst the incentive is running- but to lose their power when they are amended or withdrawn. They also direct our attention towards the incentive, and away from what is really valuable. They tend to reduce intrinsic motivation, and become like a drug as workers look to their next incentive, not what they do which really matters. In many professional jobs incentive schemes distort behaviour and activity- in contexts such as my GP consulting room the effects of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (a pay for performance scheme for doctors- that has a bit do with quality, and little to do with any measurable outcomes) on my work and approach are intrusive- and sometimes distracting from what the patient's needs are that day.

Pink's basic idea is that most workers will do a good job if they are paid at an appropriate level- and then given opportunity for autonomy, mastery and purpose. Basically most of us want to work, and to to work for something that matters beyond ourselves and just paying the bills. We'd like to be engaged in our work, not simply turn up to it. He describes money as a threshold motivator- income needs to be enough to live on- and comparable to other similar jobs- but once it has reached that threshold more income isn't particularly motivating. You get more return from having engaged and motivated employees, working with autonomy and purpose. You actually get less out of people the more you try to control them. In fact if you need to supervise them so closely- why are you employing them in the first place?

Many of the older schemes of reward and motivation pay people for hours spent rather than contribution. He singles out the lawyer's "billable hour" as a prime example of a scheme that encourages consumption of time rather than achieving outcomes. He describes some newer reward schemes such as ROWE- results only work environments- in which people only have to get their work done- and are measured on this, and not on hours spent, time away at doctor's appointments and similar. The presumption here is that companies should hire good people and let them get on with it- and give them autonomy over organising how and when they do their work. It has many positives- it would reduce rush hours, it would allow workers to get to meaningful social events- e.g. doctor's appointments, school events, and finish their work another time. There's time for most things over the day, or the week- the problem comes when they are all scheduled at 1400 on a Thursday afternoon. As long as the work gets done well who's worried when its done. With more work becoming brain work (as opposed to physical labour) the need to have everyone in an office between 9 and 5 gets ever less. How many of those set hours are people actually really productive for in most offices?

Pink's book opens a description to a new view of work- and workers and employers relate to the tasks at hand. The work does need to be done, and this book shows that there are many new and innovative ways coming for getting it done. They may well be an improvement on what has one before- and be better based on an understanding of how humans are motivated to do well, and how this can best be encouraged.

Overall this is an optimistic and helpful book- that will help many of us whether as workers or employers- understand what's being asked of us- and how we should be asked to do it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great content, annoying Kindle formatting, 25 Jan 2011
I concur with all the reviews already submitted that this is indeed a worthwhile read, and contains many important points. However, it was slightly spoiled by poor formatting of the Kindle version: most of the text after chapter 1 is in italics, and the paragraph spacing leaves a lot to be desired, making reading it on the Kindle a lesser experience.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative but a little lightweight, 4 Dec 2010
By 
Mr. N. Moffatt (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The main narrative of the book finishes on page 146, and the remainder feels to me very much like publisher coerced padding - "your book must be 200 to 250 pages".

The writing is also a little drawn out.

These criticisms aside, the book has clear and unexpected messages to impart. And explains them very clearly. I just hope that companies can recognise them, and stop treating employees like slaves to be manipulated, and start treating them as partners.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink (Paperback - 13 Jan 2011)
6.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews