21 August 2010

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

I don't know what to rave about first, the Kindle 2 (which I have checked out from the library where I work) or Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (the very first book that I read on the Kindle). I am now a huge fan of both and wish that I had known the advantages of both much earlier!

Daniel Pink sets the business world, and our personal interactions, on end. Building on work of various psychologists and economists before him, Pink suggests that internal or intrinsic motivators, provided in the way of autonomy, independence, and freedom for creativity, will garner far more results than extrinsic rewards such as money, awards, etc. This approach has been implemented in many forward looking businesses, such as Google and Tom's Shoes.

Another business where these ideas have made a real difference is the Seattle Pike Place Fish Market. Here is their version:

•EMPOWERMENT - The astounding creativity, productivity and profitability that erupts when leaders are willing to be wholly committed to empowering their employees.
•VISION TO REALITY - Any group of people... anybody... can create a powerful vision and have it happen.
•MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD - making a profound and lasting difference in the quality of life in the world is the true purpose of being in business.

Of course, one part that really engaged me was about how to deal with children. Every parent should read this book. Did you hear me? Every. Parent. Should. Read. This. Book! It could change your child's life. Do you pay for grades, or use a bribe to get chores done? These if you do this, then I will do that rewards can have exactly the opposite effect from what you intended. The section on education really struck a nerve with me.

---too many schools are moving in the wrong direction. They're redoubling their emphasis on routines, right answers, and standardization. (location 3487 on Kindle).

I had four children. Three of them went through the Catholic school system in my town. The fourth (a middle child) went private and public...until he dropped out of school at age 16. He is a smart boy - still is, but he fell through all of the cracks of the public school system. Now all of my children are grown and I work in a Curriculum Materials Library, so I work daily with potential new teachers. It is rather sad. We expect the preservice teachers to be creative, to engage young learners, to teach to individuals. But the reality is that it all boils down to how each child, and therefore, each school does on the standardized FCAT test given yearly in the Spring. The scores already determine schools' standings in the county. Officials tried to tie it to teacher compensation (WHAT?), but that failed when put to a vote. So, we are teaching our children how to take that test, give the same correct answers. We are not teaching them how to THINK! And according to Pink, we are sapping out their internal motivation...something we are all born with and systematically lose as we get older, unless we are left to develop our own internal reward system. Sorry about the little diatribe, but it annoys me to no end. How is education "monitored" in your state or country?

Check out the author's webpage and what people are saying about Drive.
Oh goodness, I absolutely love the Kindle. I am a huge fan of the written word - rather words written on paper...well, more specifically words typed on paper and bound in the form of books. But I did dearly love the Kindle experience. It is so light, the type is clear, it was easy to navigate. And oh so many more wonders! If you are like I was, a doubter, do try one. See if your local or academic library has them for checkout...please do not come to my library to get one because then I will have to give this one up and I do so want to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and The Hunger Games!!

TITLE: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
AUTHOR: Daniel Pink
PAGES: who knows, it was on KINDLE!
TYPE: non-fiction
RECOMMEND: I really liked this book. It put some new ideas into my brain and reminded me about one of my favorite management philosophies at the Seattle Fish Market.


EA said...

Hello, it's Evie from Wordpress and the Hopping Blogger Brigade. My husband has been asking if I'm up for getting the kindle, then I wouldn't need the dozens of books (maybe a hundred) lining up the bookcase and bedroom floor. (I can't get a bigger bookcase at this time. Long, complicated story.) I'm holding out on his offer. Great post.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Very cool that your library has a Kindle in circulation. I recently broke down and book a nook ... I'm still getting used to it.

I think I'd really like DRIVE; sounds similar in style to the many Malcolm Gladwell books that I've connected with (THE TIPPING POINT, OUTLIERS)