Category Archives: motivation

Improve Your Life, just a little

Credit: Jerry Bauer

How do we apply all this to schools?

Educators understand intrinsic motivation better than most business people. It’s a concept taught in a lot of education programs. The problem is that the education system itself is geared almost entirely to extrinsic motivators such as high-stakes standardized tests, or the SATs, or grades themselves.

There ‘s a section of the book where I write about the difference between performance goals and learning goals. Grades are performance goals—i.e., “If you hit this level of performance, you’ll get a good grade.” If you take the SATs your goal is not to master math or the English language but rather to score a certain number. So you end up being able to identify vocabulary words for the purpose of taking a test but you’re unable to use them in a conversation or when writing.

What should be scary to every parent, indeed to every citizen, is that these motivation 2.0 approaches, which are demonstrably wrong for business, are increasingly infiltrating our schools. That’s why there’s now all this talk about linking teacher pay to standardized test scores. If that happens, the end result will be an even greater emphasis on performance over learning.

What do you want readers to get out of this book?

I want them to see their own lives and the lives of people around them in a different way. I want them to be able to take this information and, even if it’s only in a very small way, live and work a little bit better. I think all of us have a nagging sense that this is what we’re about—that we’re driven by a desire to direct our own lives, that we have an urge to get better and better at something that matters, and that we yearn to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves. What I’m trying to do is encourage people to listen to that nagging little voice inside you. It’s telling you something that’s true. If you listen to it, you might be able to lead a slightly better life.

Part of Friday series on Motivation. Series one will be quick posts with Daniel Pink, followed by a series of other motivational articles.


What motivates YOU?
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us


Listen to the interview here > Conversation with Daniel Pink. You can download the show to iTunes by clicking the icon on the player.


Please help with a book project for a client by filling out this survey.
What is death? http://bit.ly/9K3JQr

[FTC disclosure: Daniel Pinks publisher sent me a copy of the book, Drive and the Q & A materials I am using here as posts]

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Sheep's Clothing

Credit: Jerry Bauer

There are companies that pride themselves on their empowerment programs, and flexibility but you say that’s merely Motivation 2.1, not a true upgrade. Why?

It’s just a slightly more benign form of control. The premise behind “empowerment” is that the organization has the power and in its benevolence ladles some of it into the waiting bowls of grateful employees. But that’s not autonomy. It’s just a slightly more civilized version of control. It’s the same with “flex-time”—a practice in which management does things like allowing employees to come to work at 9:30 A.M. instead of 8:30 A.M. That too, is little more than control in sheep’s clothing. To me, it equates to treating your employees like adolescents instead of children, but it’s still not treating them as adults.

Part of Friday series on Motivation. Series one will be quick posts with Daniel Pink, followed by a series of other motivational articles.


What motivates YOU?
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us


Listen to the interview here > Conversation with Daniel Pink. You can download the show to iTunes by clicking the icon on the player.


Please help with a book project for a client by filling out this survey.
What is death? http://bit.ly/9K3JQr

[FTC disclosure: Daniel Pinks publisher sent me a copy of the book, Drive and the Q & A materials I am using here as posts]

Share