This year’s Leadership Development Group (LDG) recently read the book Drive, by Daniel Pink. The thesis of this book focuses on moving away from rewards and punishment to promoting employees’ productivity and turning more towards a new way of thinking that is based on autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
The book helped LDG members to contemplate new ideas of how to motivate employees by means other than the traditional carrot and stick approach to motivation. LDG members found this book really interesting, as they read about how people are driven by various intrinsic motivators. For example, people are driven by the desire to direct their own lives, to progress at something that matters to them, and/or the desire to do something great.
Here are some comments from the LDG members on what they got out of Drive, and how they have applied it or want to apply it to their work environment:
After reading the first couple chapters of Drive, I took some time to think about what I could do to provide the staff I supervise to be more driven in their work. I focused on a specific concept from the book about providing staff more freedom to be creative. I spent a good amount of time trying to rearrange the staffing schedule to allow fulltime staff to have some hours set aside where they could work on something that was intrinsically motivating to them. Eventually, I was able to allow four primary residential counselors three to four hours to come in to work at their leisure and work on a task that was of great interest to them in supporting their primary consumers in a more creative manner. Although this new schedule has only been implemented for a couple of weeks, I can already see some great improvements. My team at the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome has already come to me with multiple projects and ideas that they are excited to work on. Everyone at the home seems to be truly more motivated and happy. I can also see an increase in their performance completing the daily responsibilities on shift. – Shannon Bundy
The book Drive truly opened my eyes to a number of new ideas. It demonstrated that tying increased compensation to better performance is more often than not a detriment to actual long term performance, that and the evidence to this fact is quite substantial, and that there must be something substantial to explain this phenomenon: internal drive. The book also argued that completely structured environments often deter creativity and don’t allow this internal motivation to flourish in to creation. This book has really sparked my desire to look at our work environment differently and now I am noticing opportunities to adjust things like how we do our documentation, and incorporating concepts from this book like adding a little more freedom on when and where documentation is done. – Tim West-Heiss
Drive by Daniel Pink was an interesting book discussing intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation occurs when we act without any obvious external rewards. We simply enjoy an activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn, and actualize our potentials. When reflecting on my work here at Imagine! while reading this book, it only confirmed to me that I am personally rewarded by the relationships I build and the clients we serve here at Imagine! everyday – these are my intrinsic motivators. – Maria Klickna
One concept that I found intriguing in Drive was that once an employee is identified as a preferred hire by a company, the prospective employee would begin working with existing teams. The teams have the ultimate say by actually offering the prospective employee a position with the team. The author also suggests that once an employer takes care of the essential economic needs of their workforce and their families, that employees will naturally seek autonomy, mastery, and purpose; which made me think what we as Imagine! could achieve if the essential economic needs of our workforce and their families weren’t a chronic concern” – Sterling Wind
In the book Drive, the author examines three elements of true motivation-autonomy, mastery, and purpose. This book gave me the opportunity to reflect on what motivates me individually as well as perspective on what may motivate Imagine! employees. I would like to apply this knowledge to our LDG performance management case study, and also figure out a way to incorporate these elements and ideas to retain our current staff. – Laura Ball
The book Drive has played a big part in the development of our chosen case study on performance management. We are applying Daniel Pink’s concepts in our case study to develop a better way for Imagine! to address performance management across all departments.