Top critical review
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Important ideas in a padded out book
on 28 February 2011
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.