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The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Pink, Daniel H. (2002). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. New
York: Penguin Group.
Table Of Contents
Part One: A New Operating System
Chapter 1The Rise and Fall of Motivation 2.0
Chapter 2Seven Reason Carrots and Sticks (Often) Dont
Work . . .
Chapter 2A. . . And the Special Circumstances When They
Chapter 3Type I and Type X
Part Two: The Three Elements
Chapter 4Autonomy
Chapter 5Mastery
Chapter 6Purpose
Part ThreeThe Type I Toolkit
Basic Summary
There is a disconnect between what businesses do and what the science says.
External rewards and punishments (carrot-and-stick) dont always work and
can often do harm.
To get the most out of peopleto motivate the 21st century worker
(peoples enjoyment and productivity), we need to upgrade our thinking to
include autonomy, mastery and purpose.
Autonomy: We like to be in charge of our own livesthe direction of our
Mastery: We like to be good at stuffurges us to get better at what we like
and what we are good at.
Purpose: Why we get up in the morningwe desire to be needed for
something larger than ourselves.

Video Summary Links:

TED Talk, The Puzzle of Motivation:
RSA Animate, adapted from Dan Pink's talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden
truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace:
Chapter 1: The Rise and Fall of Motivation 2.0
We have sets of assumptions that we operate undersets of assumptions and
protocols about how the world works. These assumptions take on basic
ideas of motivation.
There are three types of motivation:
Motivation 1.0: humans are biological creatures that have natural drive for needed things
such as: desire to obtain food, water, security, and sex.
Motivation 2.0: humans responded to basic rewards (carrot) and punishments (stick) in our
This type of motivation works fine for routine tasks with set directions, one path, and one
potential outcome. But it is proving incompatible with how we organize, think, and do what we
do in todays world.
Motivation 3.0: asserts that humans have an intrinsic motivationdesire to learn, to
create, and to better the world.
Tasks can be divided into two categories:
Algorithmic: a task which follows a set of established instructions down a single pathway to one
conclusionexternal rewards and punishments work nicely for these types of tasks.
Heuristic: a task that has no algorithm, you have to experiment with possibilities and devise
a novel solutionexternal rewards and punishments can be detrimental for these types of
In the U.S., only 30% of job growth comes from algorithmic work, while 70% comes from heuristic
Chapter 1: Seven Reason Carrots and Sticks (Often) Dont Work . . .

Motivation starts with Motivation 1.0people need to earn a

living. If the pay is not enough or equal to their contribution,
their focus will be on the unfairness of the situation rather than
their contributions and thus there is very little motivation.
Next, is the focus on Motivation 2.0rewards and
consequences. These are good for algorithmic tasks (single task
with one path) but are not good for Heuristic tasks (multiple
paths requiring trial and error).
Rewards can also make an interesting job into a drudgeries'
taskthey can turn potential work-play into plain work.
Traditional if-then rewards can give us less of what we want
and need in our work lives.
Chapter 1: Seven Reason Carrots and Sticks (Often) Dont Work . . .
The flaws of Carrots and Sticks, they can
1. undermine intrinsic motivation
2. reduce performance
3. suppress creativity
4. crowd out good behavior
5. encourage short cuts, cheating, and other unethical actions
6. become addictive
7. promote short-term thinking
For those driven by intrinsic motivation (the drive to do something because it
is interesting, challenging, and absorbing which is essential creativity
thinking outside the box), the motivation of extrinsic means people taking
the quickest route rather than the best route.
Goals that people set for themselves and that are devoted to attaining mastery
are usually healthy and meaningful. But goals imposed upon people (sales
targets, quarterly returns, standardized test scores, etc.) can often be
disingenuous and sometimes have dangerous side effects.
Chapter 2a: . . . and the Special Circumstances When They
Carrots and sticks arent all bad. Can be effective for routine tasks.
little intrinsic motivation to undermine and not much creativity to
More effective if you offer a rationale for why the task is necessary (even
acknowledge that its boring).
Youll increase your chances of success using rewards for routine
tasks if you:
Offer rationale for why the task is necessaryeven uninteresting tasks can
have meaning if a necessary part of a bigger picture.
Acknowledge that the task may be boring and dull.
Allow people to complete the task on their own way (autonomy).
For non-routine conceptual tasks
Now that rewards non-contingent rewards given after a task is
complete can sometimes be okay for more creative, right-brain work
Especially if they provide useful information about performance
Chapter 3: Type I and Type X
Type I (Intrinsic) and Type X (Extrinsic) Behavior
Motivation 2.0 depended on and fostered Type X
(Extrinsic) behaviorconcerned with the external
rewards to which an activity leads
Motivation 3.0 depends on and fosters Type I (Intrinsic)
behaviorconcerned more with the inherent
satisfaction of the activity itself
The good news is that Type Is are made, not bornand
Type I behavior leads to stronger performance, greater
health, and higher overall well-being
Chapter 4: Autonomy
Autonomy: We like to be in charge of our own livesthe direction of our
Autonomy is different from independence. Autonomy means acting with
choice which can be individually or working with others.
A sense of autonomy has a powerful effect on individual performance and
A Cornell University study found that businesses that offered autonomy grew four
times more and had one-third the turnover.
Encourage autonomy over their: Task (what they do), Time (when they do it),
Team (who they do it with), and Technique (how they do it).
Organizations that have found inventive, sometimes radical, ways to boost
autonomy are outperforming their competitors
Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) people dont have schedules. They show
up when they want. They dont have to be in the office at a certain time or any time
for that matter. They just have to get their work done. How they do it, when they do
it and where they do it is up to them.
Chapter 5: Mastery
Mastery: We like to be good at stuffurges us to get better at
what we like and what we are good at.
Motivation 2.0 requires compliance while motivation demands
engagement, only engagement (Motivation 3.0) can produce
mastery (becoming better at something that matters).
Mastery begins with flow optimal experiences when
challenges are matched to our abilities. Goals become clearer and
people become engaged (forgetting about time and place).
Mastery abides by three peculiar rules:
Mastery is a mindset: It requires the capacity to see your abilities not as
finite, but as infinitely improvable
Mastery is a pain: It demands effort, grit, and deliberate practice
Mastery is an asymptote: Its impossible to fully realize, which makes it
simultaneously frustrating and alluring
Chapter 6: Purpose
Purpose: Why we get up in the morningwe desire
to be needed for something larger than ourselves.
Humans, by their nature, seek purpose (why they do what
they do which is larger than themselves).
In Motivation 3.0, purpose maximization is taking its
place alongside profit maximization as an aspiration and a
guiding principle.
This purpose motive is expressing itself in three ways:
In goals that use profit to reach purpose
In words that emphasize more than self-interest
In policies that allow people to pursue purpose on their own
Daniel H. Pink TED Talk:
The Puzzle of Motivation

TED Talk, The Puzzle of Motivation:

Candle Problem
Candle Problem
There are basically two types of people in the world:
1. Those that see things the way they want to see thingsthe way things could be.
2. Those that see things the way others dothe way things are supposed to be.
One thing is certain about this. Group No. 1 is always more successful in any endeavor than group
No. 2100% of the time. The big idea here has to do with seeing the possibilities.
People are give a candle, matches, and a box of thumbtacks. They are told to adhere the candle to
the wall but in a way that once lit, no wax will fall on the floor/wall. Many only see candle,
matches, and thumbtacksthe way things are. Others see candle, matches, thumbtacks, and a
BOXthe potential of things. The solution requires you to use the box but you must overcome
your belief that the box is just functioning as a container for the thumbtacks and see it as part of
the solution.
Daniel H. Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation
In 1945, the Candle Problem was created by psychologist Karl
Duncker. Sam Glucksberg, who is now at Princeton University,
used this experiment to show the power of incentives.
The first group he told them he was going to time them to establish
the norm for the problem. The second group he offered rewards
for how fast they completed the problem. Surprising, it took the
second group three and half minutes longer to complete the
Daniel H. Pinks assertion: If you look at the science, there is a
mismatch between what science knows and what business does.What's alarming here
is that our business operating system -- think of the set of assumptions and
protocols beneath our businesses, how we motivate people, how we apply our human
resources-- it's built entirely around these extrinsic motivators, around carrots and
sticks.That's actually fine for many kinds of 20th century tasks. But for 21st
century tasks, that mechanistic, reward-and-punishment approach doesn't work,
often doesn't work, and often does harm. Let me show you.
Daniel H. Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation
Dan Ariely, great economist, gave MIT students gamesgames that involved
creativity, and motor skills, and concentration. He offered three levels of rewards
(small-medium-large) for how well they did. The results: as long as the task
involved only mechanical skill, bonuses worked as they would be expected: the
higher the pay, the better the performance. But once the task called for even
rudimentary cognitive skill, a larger reward led to poorer performance. He
repeated the test in Madurai, India where the modest rewards would be much
more powerful but the results were the same.
Daniel H. Pinks further assertion: There is a mismatch between what science knows and what
business does. If we really want to get out of this economic mess, if we really want high
performance on those definitional tasks of the 21st century, the solution is not to do more of the
wrong things, to entice people with a sweeter carrot, or threaten them with a sharper stick.We need a
whole new approach. The good news is that the scientists who've been studying motivation have
given us this new approach. It's built much more around intrinsic motivation. Around the desire to
do things because they matter, because we like it, they're interesting, or part of something
important. And to my mind, that new operating system for our businesses revolves around three
elements: autonomy, mastery and purpose. Autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives. Mastery: the
desire to get better and better at something that matters. Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in
the service of something larger than ourselves. These are the building blocks of an entirely new
operating system for our businesses.