Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

What motivates you to work?  Money?  Prestige?  Forms of reward?  Avoidance of punishment?  Why?

Daniel Pink has published his follow-up book, “Drive”, to his 2006 smash book, “A Whole New Mind”.  In “…new mind” Dan approached the idea of an evolution in human thinking from the left brain dominance of the past 100 years, toward the right brain future dominance of creativity and meaning.

In “Drive”, Dan takes on the subject of human motivation.  On page 73, Pink writes:

“Humana beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.”

With autonomy comes independent self control.  With self-determination comes that act of deciding alone for the purpose of preservation or advancement.  And with connection to others comes that need to not be alone – to be in relation with others.

The question is WHY do our paths to creating our own connected, achievement filled and rich lives become blocked?  According to Dan, the organization we work for have an old paradigm toward people systems that block our basic drive to reach our innate inner drive.  We choose to join organizations and work to achieve our individual self worth and ultimate value.  But in the interaction of the individual within the organization, the management systems impede our motivations to become autonomous, self-determined and connected to one another.

Drive” is full of rich ideas that challenge the current systems of work.  Dan presents his ideas on why the “carrot and stick” form of management simply don’t work anymore.  But he does not leave us hanging.  He presents new systems of organization motivation that are currently growing “out there” in the vast worlds of work;  no time sheets, accountability replaced with autonomy and trust, performance goals replaced with learning goals, and many other stories about a brave new world of organizations.

Drive”, if you are open to the challenges, can make you believe in the possibility of reaching our innate inner drive for richer life, while simultaneously increasing the value of the organizations in which we work.  It’s a win-win future state, but it will require revolutionary new people systems in order to succeed.  I recommend this read as an insight into new approaches to creating stronger relationships between individuals and the organizations in which we work.

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A Short Excerpt from Dan Pink’s – Drive