Thursday, April 7, 2011

Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

Pink, Daniel. (2009). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us.
New York: Riverhead Books.

Book’s main ideas/arguments:
This book emphasizes the need for a restructure of how we currently motivate people to do quality work. Pink states that “motivation 2.0” as he calls it is based on stick and carrot method of motivation and it is time for an upgrade. He argues that paying people more isn’t the right kind of incentive to motivate people, in fact can have a hindrance on overall performance. Instead of external motivators we should instead upgrade to “Motivation 3.0” which has three core elements: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.
Autonomy is essentially being self-directed. People should have a choice in what they do, when they do it, how they do it, and with whom they work on it with. The idea that people don’t need to be managed in order to do quality work is contradictory to motivation 2.0 but essential for the new motivation 3.0. People need choice and freedom in what they do in order to stay engaged and reach their optimal abilities.
Mastery: Once one is engaged in one’s work it is possible to push toward mastery. The mindset of mastery is to continuously become better at something. Mastery is something that is impossible to reach but one can always push toward.
Purpose: Pink emphasizes that businesses that incorporate purpose maximization often in the long run out perform companies that incorporate profit maximization. People have to have a purpose, a reason why they are doing their job. People yearn to find meaning in their lives and with what they do. We all want to make a mark on the world and this is done through having a purpose.
Quotes and questions:
When talking about personal fulfillment and accomplishment
“It requires resisting the temptation to control people-and instead doing everything we can to reawaken their deep-seated sense of autonomy. This innate capacity for self-direction is at the heart of motivation 3.0.” (Pink, 89)
This is a reminder of how our classrooms can seem like management. As the teacher we manage students. We control what they are learning, how they learn it, and how they spend their time for that one to two hour period. This may not be the optimal way in which students reach their potential. A more autonomous approach with clear learning goals seems to be a more sensible way of letting student learn.

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