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Carrots and sticks: Procrastination fix?

Not long ago, a bank in Colombia found itself in a managerial thicket. Its loan officers were putting off a significant amount of their work until the last week of the month, just before their monthly bonuses were calculated. Such behavior didn’t make much sense. By procrastinating, the loan officers were creating cash flow problems […]


[reviews source="drive" number="1"]

Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake, Daniel H. Pink says in, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, his provocative and persuasive new book. The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He demonstrates that while carrots and sticks worked successfully in the twentieth century, that’s precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today’s challenges. In Drive, he examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose—and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action. Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward.

Drive is bursting with big ideas—the rare book that will change how you think and transform how you live.

Does giving teachers bonuses improve student performance?

One of the hottest ideas in education policy these days is tying teacher pay to student performance on standardized tests. The theory is that offering up cash bonuses will prompt unmotivated and unaccountable teachers to get their acts together and do better by our kids. The first comprehensive study of this approach, from the Nashville public […]

Three ways to make the workplace richer in feedback

In this month’s Sunday Telegraph column, I strap on my spelunking gear and explore the most feedback-deprived cave in our civilization: The modern workplace.  While the rest of our lives are rich in feedback — just look at the Tweet counter for this post or listen for the little sound your phone makes when you […]

What a high school algebra teacher can teach us about innovation

Chances are that you’ve seen the handiwork of Karl Fisch. Along with Scott McLeod, he created the legendary Shift Happens videos, which have now been viewed online roughly four gazillion times. But Fisch also has a day job — at Arapahoe High School, near Denver. This year, in addition to his other duties, he’s begun […]

Is the best vacation policy no vacation policy?

In this month’s Sunday Telegraph column, I explore vacations through the lens of Netflix, Inc., which has taken a peculiar approach to paid holidays. At Netflix salaried employees (though not hourly workers) can take all the vacation they want — whenever they want to take it.  Somehow it works. (More: Check out Netflix CEO Reed […]

Do commissions motivate or demotivate salespeople?

That’s the question I examine in my new monthly business column for the Sunday Telegraph of London, which debuts today. In the piece, which takes about four minutes to read, I describe the experiences of two companies — Red Gate Software in Cambridge, UK and System Source in Baltimore — that have eliminated commissions for […]

Stairway to motivational heaven

My pal Scott Underwood directed me to a fascinating study that stands at the intersection of two of my obsessions: motivation and signs. Say you need to go from the ground floor of a building to the fourth floor. Climbing stairs is obviously better for your health than standing in an elevator. But how can […]

Are you indispensable?

Seth Godin’s new book, Linchpin, launches today. And like all of Seth’s work, this one will rattle your neurons and rouse your heart. As part of his effort to spark conversations, he’s interviewed several other authors about their work — and how their ideas relate to his. Below is the interview Seth did with me on […]

Clickhere. “What really drives high performance? In this eye-opening book, Daniel Pink draws on 40 years of science to offer some surprising answers. He shows the limits of carrots and sticks and explores the hard-headed power of autonomy, mastery, and purpose to help us work smarter and live better.” — Chris Anderson, author of THE […]

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