Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book Report: Drive

This made for an interesting companion book to Free, which I also read recently. Where Free looks at how businesses can make money off zero- or low-cost offerings, Drive investigates the other side of the coin: asking what motivates people to do things--often for free--which can be good for life as well as business.

The oft-repeated theme of Drive is the gap between "what science knows and what business does." And Pink puts his money where his mouth is--there are plenty of studies and research to back up his conclusions about "Motivation 3.0" and the things which can help any organization get the most out of its members; to wit, recognizing that people will work harder when they have autonomy and purpose, and in pursuit of mastery of a skill, than when they're just in it for the money.

At its core, Drive advocates dismantling traditional management structures in favor of more "bottom-up" team building. Open source software projects and Wikipedia are cited, as they were in Free, and Pink also discusses several of my former employer's initiatives, like 20% time, peer rewards, and 360-degree performance reviews. (Not all of those were as successful as they could have been, but that's another post.)

Read this book. If you're lacking in time or money, you can get many of the salient points from this excellent 11-minute video:

Buy the book: Powell's, Amazon (affiliate links)


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