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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Basic ideas that really work!
"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...
Published on 28 July 2011 by Robert Selden

versus
72 of 79 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


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13 of 13 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
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56 of 58 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)   
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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.
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72 of 79 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important ideas in a padded out book, 28 Feb. 2011
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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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A celebration of human potential- mastery, autonomy, purpose, 27 Aug. 2014
By 
Dr. Peter Davies (Halifax, UK) - See all my reviews
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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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Books like this make Malcolm Gladwell turn Pink!, 12 Aug. 2011
By 
Allen Baird (Belfast, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Paperback)
Pink's 2005 book A Whole New Mind redefined the business/psychology genre of self-help-type literature. It did this, not so much by its content, as by its shape and style. Drive continues this trend, only more so.

Yes, the content of both books is first class. Pink shows incredible ability gathering together disparate strands of information - news stories, academic research, cultural trends, web materials, business speeches - and weaving them together into a convincing narrative. But the likes of Malcolm Gladwell do the same. How Pink exceeds his competitors is twofold. (1) He possess a taxonomists skill in grouping large chunks of data together in ways that seem to throws light on historical patterns. (2) He isn't interested in merely tickling our fancies; he wants us to go forth and do something with this new knowledge.

Hence, in A Whole New Mind, after explaining each of his six right-brain senses, he spends time teaching us how to grow or apply the skills discussed. And so with Drive. Only, this time, he spends the last third book on this type of material. The first third lays down the background and theory. This is where Gladwell stops, minus the coherence and classifications. The second third focuses on the main three motivations skill of autonomy, mastery and purpose. This is where Chip and Dan Heath get to on a good day. But Pink is only warming up.

Part Three of Drive consists of "The Type I Toolkit" where type I means those with internal motivation as opposed to external 'carrot and stick' motivation (type x). There are eleven subsections here, including a brilliant recap of and glossary for the whole book. There is a reading list and a guru list for further research. And there are other lists of ways to apply the book's thinking to areas are diverse but vital as individual and group motivation, paying your employees, raising your kids, and getting/keeping yourself fit.

There are plenty of blurbs and reviews that focus on the specifics of Drive's content, so I needn't regurgitate them. All I can say that as a training consultant and business book club founder, I'm familiar with literature on motivation. This is the best out there, bar none. Pink always manages to unearth material that is new, exciting and relevant. And let's not neglect that fact that Pink has good stuff to say in his own right. Less so than A Whole New Mind, you're still getting a bit of the author's own thinking in Drive, minus the navel-gazing Gladwell displayed in Outliers.

Pink mentions Gladwell on page 190. Such a first-rate writer, and so generous with it...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but 'Gladwell Lite'?...., 5 Jan. 2011
By 
Steve Hearsum (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A lovely expose of the fallacy of carrot & stick motivational tools, Drive is a must read, particularly for politicians and regulators of the financial services industry. The strength of strength of Pink's book lies in his ability to reference the academic research that clearly evidences the case he is making e.g. Harlow & Deci's seminal work in the field of human motivation.

Where the book falls down is in two areas. Firstly, whilst Pink rightly points out how ingrained 'carrot & stick' is in organisations and society at large, he doesn't really get under the skin of how to change patterns of behaviour that are that habituated (e.g. changing a lifetime of parenting advice needs more than a few suggestions in an appendix). More frustratingly, he misses an opportunity to dig deeper into what exactly went wrong, and is still goes on, in the banking industry. Yes he touches on this, but I was left feeling that this was an opportunity missed, and almost that this was a group of people he did not want to take on, and/or going this route would have dampened the up beat tone of his narrative. There is a shadow side to the territory Pink opens open, and I wanted to hear a lot more about it, in a wider sociological context.

A great book, a touch 'Gladwell-Lite" (mainly because of the last point) and none the less I highly recommend it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and motivating - maybe even life-changing, 30 Aug. 2011
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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.
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39 of 44 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.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy yet thought-provoking read, 6 Dec. 2010
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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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes its point well, and has a few inspiring moments too, 21 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Paperback)
The florescent graphics on the cover were slightly suggestive to me that the substance of the book inside would be less impressive. Thankfully this proved to not be the case, as I found this book very interesting, well reasoned, and indeed quite inspiring in some places. Perhaps one of the nicest things about this book is that it is clear that the author has tremendous respect and passion for humanity at large. Sometimes books about how to motivate people turn out to be books about how to manipulate people, and so it is refreshing to read a volume where the author is not simply trying to push a get-what-you-want agenda. This book is not about how to motivate people so much as how to create an environment where people *are* motivated.

The book is split into three sections, the first being the background and explanatory information about the subject. Here Pink explains how in his view the old trusted model of carrot/stick is somewhat counterproductive in today's modern and creative workplaces. Instead, he proposes that a more inherent desire exists within each of us, around subject areas such as mastery and autonomy. The core idea is that the notion that people have to be forced or bribed to produce their best work is false. The examples cited are slightly American in method, which isn't surprising considering that is where Pink is based, but apply in the most part to a UK audience too.

The second part of the book presents a framework of various situations that the ideas can be applied to. This is not really a cohesive section, and each "chapter" is relatively independent from the last, however the author does explain that this is intentional. You read the chapters which are relevant to your situation, although I found reading them cover to cover equally enlightening.

The last and smallest part is a small summary of the first part's content, intended as an aide mémoire. I liked this idea a lot, as it provides a simple and concise reference guide that can be used in the future without having to thumb and search the entire book. There are also a number of suggestions for further reading, which again proves that the author's agenda is truly to improve and better our lives rather than to simply push his own product.

This is a small book, but one which packs a big punch, at least for me. I found several of its suggestions both inspiring and exciting, and I hope to implement a few of his strategies myself in the future. The writing style is relaxed and easy, neither patronising nor complex, and it was a pleasure to keep turning each page.

I would recommend this book not only as a general read to those interested in business psychology and motivation, but also to any manager who feels burnt out and that their workplace needs a bit of a motivational facelift. You won't find many glib solutions, but you will find a detailed explanation of why what you are currently doing probably isn't working.
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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink (Paperback - 13 Jan. 2011)
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