Dan Pink was promoting his new book “Drive – the surprising truth about what motivates us” at RSA last night.
He presented a compelling argument that the gap between proven scientific principles and flawed modern business practice has led to a culture of under achievement for at least the last decade. He illustrated this through the apparent failure of business leaders to harness the three key principles of motivation: purpose, autonomy and mastery. A lively discussion took place on topical subjects like bankers bonuses, Andy Murray and motivation in the public sector. The message was clear: the public sector has taken a step backward by introducing flawed private sector practices like bonus schemes, everyone wants Murray to master his game and win the Australian Open and there was a popular wish to call the bankers bluff on bonuses!
Doug Shaw raised the point that social media has provided an excellent vehicle for people to realise all three motivators. I couldn’t agree more – the advent of social media has reinforced the need for organisations to embrace the concepts of social science that have been well documented but heavily resisted for the past 50 years. Social media makes it easier to get around all the barriers that the bureaucrats have put in place over the years, preventing “flow” and creativity in the workplace. Unlike previous workarounds or “non-compliant” behaviour, social media provides the platform for positive psychology, helping build motivation and creativity. This science behind this is well documented by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Most of the content and thinking in Dan’s book isn’t new but he package sit well, Dan is a great communicator and he uses great analogies like Goldilocks and Tom Sawyer to help bring these ideas to life. The book does introduce type I and type X behaviours. If you want to take the test online or learn more about Dan go here