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Synopsis of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

By Daniel H. Pink

Chapter 2: Seven Reasons Carrots and Sticks (Often) Don't Work...

  • Overcome "functional fixedness" — seeing something as having only one function [page 41]
  • Goals may cause systematic problems for organizations due to narrowed focus, unethical behavior, increased risk taking, decreased cooperation, and decreased intrinsic motivation. Use care when applying goals in your organization [page 50].
  • The very presence of goals may lead employees to focus myopically on short-term gains and to lose sight of the potential devastating long-term effects on the organization [page 56].
  • Likewise, several studies show that paying people to exercise, stop smoking, or take their medicines produces terrific results at first — but the health behavior disappears once the incentives are removed. However, when contingent rewards aren't involved, or when incentives are used with the proper deftness, performance improves and understanding deepens [page 57].

Chapter 2a: ...and the Special Circumstances When They Do

  • Any extrinsic reward should be unexpected and offered only after the task is complete. Holding out a prize at the beginning of a project — and offering it as a contingency — will inevitably focus people's attention on obtaining the reward rather than on attacking the problem [page 64].

Chapter 3: Type I and Type X

  • We have three innate psychological needs — competence, autonomy, and relatedness [page 70].

Chapter 4: Autonomy

  • Management isn't about walking around and seeing if people are in their offices. It's about creating conditions for people to do their best work [page 84].
  • Hire good people and leave them alone [page 93].
  • "homeshoring" (working from home) [page 101]
  • "Anybody who wants to rise in the ranks and lead a team must assemble people willing to work with them." [page 103]
  • "We're born to be players, not pawns. We're meant to be autonomous individuals, not individual automatons." [page 106]

Type I for Individuals: Nine Strategies for Awakening Your Motivation

  • What's your sentence? [pages 154-155] For example, Abraham Lincoln's is "He preserved the union and freed the slaves." Franklin Roosevelt's was "He lifted us out of a Great Depression and helped us win a world war."

Type I for Organizations: Thirteen Ways to Improve Your Company, Office, or Group

  • Conduct an autonomy audit [page 166].
  • ...anybody at any time can award a colleague a fifty-dollar bonus [page 169].
  • Play "Whose purpose is it anyway?" [page 171] Ask each person to write down his or her one-sentence answer to the following question: “What is our company’s (or organization’s) purpose?” Collect the cards and read them aloud. What do they tell you? Are the answers similar, everyone aligned along a common purpose?

Additional Information:

RSA version of Drive: