My 2 takeaways from RFL podcast episode 102 – Daniel Pink


Daniel Pink appeared on the show to talk about some of his findings in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.


My 2 takeaways are as follows:

1. Humans and thus your employees have a mix of 3 drives

A. Biological (we eat when we are hungry/drink when we are thirsty)

B. Reward/Punishment (we respond to rewards – “carrots” & we respond to punishment “stick”)

C. The third drive is an “intrinsic” drive that says we like to do things that are interesting; do things we enjoy doing; do things that are challenging; do things we can get better at; and do things that matter or allow us to make a contribution.

2. Motivation 3.0

Motivation 3.0 comes from this 3rd human drive. Motivation 3.0 says, that businesses usually don’t look at the 3rd drive and instead focus on the 2nd drive. These businesses increase rewards and increase the punishment, i.e, more carrots or bigger carrots and a sharpening of the stick. While that 2nd drive method may be useful for short terms and for certain jobs, it is not useful for 21st century white collar jobs that are creative and conceptual.

The pathway to high performance, in 21st century white collar jobs, jobs that require employees to be creative and conceptual, is to have your employees do things that are inherently interesting.

Look at the characteristics of the 3rd drive and take your employees into consideration, do your employees do things they enjoy doing; do your employees do things that are challenging; do your employees do things they can get better at; and do they do things that matter or allow them to make a contribution?

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