Daniel Pink’s Latest Book on Motivation – ‘Drive’

Drive:  The SurDrive By Daniel Pinkprising Truth About What Motivates Us
By: Daniel H. Pink

Drive is Daniel Pink’s latest book about careers and management in the 21st century.  His other books include Free Agent Nation, A Whole New Mind, and The Adventures of Johnny Bunko.

The premise of Drive is that the dominate extrinsic reward management style of today’s businesses are based off a model that is far outdated for the 21st Century.  The book then goes onto describe in detail how a culmination of many years of research has shown that intrinsic rewards are just as important and often time more important than the extrinsic rewards that our current system relies so heavily on.

Why Carrots and Sticks Won’t Work in the 21st Century
In the first section of the book Pink provides a brief history of motivation theory using a computer’s operating system as an analogy. In the beginning, Motivation 1.0 provided us with the means for survival by providing us with instincts to obtain things like food and water.

As the human race progressed, Motivation 2.0 began to slowly take over.   Motivation 2.0 started to introduce new incentives and disincentives to allow management to control people’s motivation.  Things like higher pay and other material rewards -what Pink calls Carrots and Sticks – were utilized heavy to motivate us to perform.

Over time, Motivation 2.0 started to show its limitations as we have moved from a labor economy to a knowledge economy.

The book goes on to list the 7 deadly flaws of Motivation 2.0 which include the removal of instrinsic motivation, diminishing performance, crushed creativity and good behavior, encouragement of unethical behavior, and an increase in addiction and short-term thinking.

There is also a sub-chapter that is included that describes the narrow situation where Carrot and Sticks do still work – mainly in labor type jobs where a clear reason is given, an acknowledgment of the task’s tediousness is given, and  the management is focused on results and not processes.

He finishes the first section by developing new definitions for the Motivation 2.0 and 3.0 workers -Type X (Extrinsic) and Type I (Intrinsic).

A New Model: Motivation 3.0 Focuses on Intrinsic Rewards
After detailing the clear flaws and limitations of the Motivation 2.0 operating system, Pink introduces the new research behind what he dubs Motivation 3.0 – a newer and better model geared for today’s knowledge workers.

Motivation 3.0 says that once the external rewards (such as base pay) are provided equitably, a deeper and much stronger set of motivations drive workers.

The pillars of Motivation 3.0 include Autonomy – the ability to conduct work independently, Mastery – the ability to continually improve in our work and be engaged with it, and Purpose – the quest for a higher meaning.

Putting the Type I Mentality Into Practice
The book ends with a number of short chapters on how to implement Type I traits.   The ‘Type I Toolkit’ includes chapters on how to implement Type I behavior in a variety of settings including at home, within organizations and businesses, for personal exercise, and for parents and educators.

The book also provides a reading list for those interested in learning more about intrinsic motivation as well as a recap and a glossary of terms.

In Summary
I really have enjoyed all of Pink’s books.  This book is no exception.   It is a quick read and Pink does an excellent job presenting the background on the four decades of research the book is based off of and  couples it nicely with applications in today’s business world.  There is also some good, practical advice that is useful for anyone interested in implementing some of the ideas in the book into their own lives.

Other Links
Daniel Pink Blog
Animated ‘Drive’ Summary on YouTube
Free Agent Nation Review
Recently Read Career Books

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Seattle’s Eastside Farmers’ Markets

Farmers Market Seattle Eastside Bellevue Kirkland Issaquah Woodinville RentonSpring is here so that means that the local Farmers’ Markets are starting up also.   I really enjoy going to the Farmer’s market for the atmosphere, the community, and the fresh local produce.

In recent years, the number of farmers’ markets have increased substantially. I believe that people are starting to understand the benefits of purchasing food from local farms.

Since I live on Seattle’s Eastside, I’ve provided some links to local area Farmers’ markets below:

North Bend Farmers’ Market
Duvall Farmers’ Market
– Issaquah Farmers’ Market
Woodinville Farmers’ Market
Carnation Farmers’ Market
Redmond Saturday Market
Bellevue Farmers’ Market
Renton Farmers’ Market
Kirkland Wednesday Market
Sammamish Farmers’ Market

Some other resources for shopping at Farmers’ Market include:
The Savvy Shopper’s Guide to The Farmers’ Market
10 Farmers’ Markets Shopping Tips
Farmers’ Markets Shopping Tips

I hope you enjoy checking these out!


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[Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/empracht/ / CC BY 2.0]

The Business of Bamboo Bikes

Every now and then I like to post on something cool I’ve heard about related to business, politics, or hobbies. This post (which will also be featured on the Green Growth Cascadia blog) covers all three.

Bamboo Bike Studio New YorkRecently I read an article about a cool bike company based in New York that is trying much more than just to sell bikes and to try and get people to ride bikes.  The company, the Bamboo Bike Studio, is attempting to change the entire way people think about bikes by incorporating the consumers into the supply chain and supporting the economies where the raw materials are obtained.

The company was formed by three 20-somethings who had a passion for biking.  Where they differ from other companies is in their philosophy for sustainability.  There are several things that they do different from the traditional way of doing business.

First, all of their bike frames are built from bamboo, which is a renewable resource.  Second, they offer courses to people who wish to purchase the bamboo bikes and incorporate them directly into the manufacturing process.  Third, they have partnered with Columbia University on the Bamboo Bike Project, which attempts to create markets for sustainable bikes in developing countries.

By taking a holistic view of the entire supply-chain (Materials, Manufacturing, Sales, Customer Service), the Bamboo Bike Studio has created an interesting business model that creates new markets, is sustainable, and also advocates a new way to do business.  What the Bamboo Bike Studio is doing is a great example of some the new industries and business models that will emerge as ‘Green Economy’ continues to mature and grow.

You can read more about the company in an article from the Urban Velo bicycling magazine.


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Saturated by Media: Tales from the Digital Age

I’ve recently been thinking about how media has changed in the last few years. In today’s  information age, media permeates our lives in so many ways. With high-speed internet so common and mobile computing growing exponentially, there are ample opportunities to be exposed to all forms of media.

In order to investigate this a little further, I decided to take an inventory of my media exposure.  I’m basically an information junkie, so I wanted to get a feel for what I am really exposed to.

Using Google Reader (which makes it incredibly easy to be exposed to a lot of information through the power of RSS feeds) I subscribe to the following:

Aisle of Confusion – Healthy/Natural Food
Daniel Pink – Author/Career
Get Rich Slowly – Personal Finance
GigaOM – Technology
GOOD – Current Events
Green Growth Cascadia – Sustainable Engineering (I occasionaly post here)
Lawyer Musings – Personal Blog
mnmlist – Life Simplicity
Nine to Thrive – Career/Jobs
Npowering – Non-Profit Technology
Shareable – Life Simplicity
Geoff Baker’s Mariners Blog – Sports
Zen Habits – Life Simplicity
Adventures with Adelaide – Personal Blog
Breaking 80! – Personal Golf Blog

Each of the above blogs have different schedules.  Some post only once a week, other post multiple times a day. Overall, I probably get somewhere around 50 new posts a day, 10 of which I bookmark for reading later and 5 of which I actually read.

I really like the efficiency and customizable nature of RSS feeds.  Its like getting your own unique news channel which you can customize and change-up on a regular basis.

I subscribe to 4 magazines currently:

The Week (weekly)
Business Week (weekly)
Consumer Reports Money Advisor (monthly)
GOOD (quarterly)

I get my main source of national news from The Week and Business Week.  I used to get stressed about not having time to read all of the articles, but now I don’t worry about it too much.

This is one area that I feel I do pretty good at.  My wife and I don’t watch a lot of TV, but we still do watch some.  On average we probably watch 6-8 hours a week, of which some of that is the local and national news.   We have the cheap cable package which basically just gives us local channels.   I’m totally fine with that.  We only pay $15/month and there is more than enough media on 15 channels to take time away from other, more important things.

Social Media:
Thankfully, I don’t subscribe to any social media sites (yet!).  There is no Twitter, Facebook, or Google Buzz in my life. If there was, I would probably get nothing done.  So many people have asked me to get on Facebook but I refused everytime knowing that the last thing I need is to have instant “news” about dozens of “friends” at anytime of the day.
[Update 4/25/10 – as of a few days ago, I’m now on Twitter.  My twitter handle is @towoody1]

I do see the value in these sites, and I’m sure I will join one if not both eventually.  But now I am more than satisfied being a non-adopter of these technologies.  When I do join, I’m going to be very careful with how I use them also.

Other Media:
There are several other forms of media out there including your email (work/personal), radio, instant messaging, junk mail, and we might as well throw in text messaging and cell phones also.  Some of these may not meet the strict definition of media, but they do require your time and attention.

In Summary:
Just doing the “media inventory” for this post made me realize how pervasive information is in our lives and how many opportunities we have to access it.   I know from personal experience that if you are not careful the amount of media we’re exposed to can put you in an “information overload” state.

Like anything in life I feel that the amount of and ease of access to information is both a blessing and a curse.  If you are not careful it can start to overwhelm you and take time away from other life goals and commitments.

Some of the ways I manage information is to be very choosy about what I subscribe to and purchase (hence the reason for no expanded cable or Facebook).  I also try to not be an early adopter on the latest and greatest mobile hardware (no iPad for me) and make sure that the media fits with my goals and objectives.

It would be great to hear others experience on this topic and what other people’s “media inventory” looks like.


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Some Personal Finance Resources

To celebrate Financial Literacy month, I’ve been posting on financial topics a few times this month.  I’ve already posted on Spending Habits and Financial Goal Setting.  For this post, I wanted to provide the readers with a summary of some good personal finance resources on the web.

One of my favorite blogs, Get Rich Slowly was created by JD Roth and is one of the most popular personal finance blogs on the web.  It really is a great blog with a great community of readers and bloggers.  You can read a great interview with him at Zen Habits.

I started reading it a couple of years ago and was really impressed by Roth’s honesty and commitment. (His debt story is here.)

Recently he has posted a very good article discussing finance basics.  I would highly recommend taking a look at it if you are interested in learning more about personal finances.

Some other good personal finance web resources include:

The Simple Dollar (blog)
Debt Kid (blog)
Money Magazine
Google Finance

I would love to hear other suggestions also.

One more resource that Aimee and I have been using is ebates.  Ebates is a retail portal website that gives the user cashback when they purchase through their site.   If you purchase a lot of items online, I would recommend this site.   It really is no different from ordering through the regular retailer website except that when you go through ebates the site is tagged with a reference that notifies them to give you cash back.

You can read about it at the ebates website.Since we’ve joined at the end of 2009 we’ve received about $50 cash back by just making our normal purchases.

You can sign-up for ebates here.   If you use that link, I will be tagged as the referer and receive a $5 rebate.   When a new user signs up, they also receive a $5 rebate to start (but both only get credited to the accounts after the new user has purchased $20 worth of items.)


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The Sharing Philosophy

Shared Beach Art; Source: Royal Tropical Institute

I’ve recently subscribed to an interesting blog called Shareable.  Its a nice blog & website that promotes the virtues of sharing not only material things but also ideas.

I found out about this site through the Zen Habits blog post 34 Little Ways to Share With the World.  There was a follow-up to this post at the Shareable blog that got me thinking about it more.

There are a lot of benefits to sharing what we have been provided with.  I think in many ways it allows us to break free from our own insecurities and fears that we’re going to get taken advantage of if we give up our money, things, or unique ideas.  I have felt like this many times in my job or in interactions with others that I don’t trust.

What I have come to realize though is that if you allow yourself to be open to the ideas of sharing or giving valuable things away (like your time and money), there is a good chance you will get something more valuable in return (like new skills and relationships)

Some of the ways that I have shared include:
– Volunteering my time to teach computers and math
– Donating items to the Goodwill
– Donating our money to church and other charitable causes
– Training materials for software packages online

There are several other easy ways to incorporate giving and sharing easily into your life.  Some easy things to do include:
– Having people over to your house for dinner
– Volunteer at your local community center
– Participate in a vanpool or carpool or take transit
– Make your presents like Darci does at Adventures With Adelaide
– If you live someplace where it is possible, use car sharing or bike sharing programs

Overall, I think that giving some of your time, skills, or money away is a good way to open yourself up to new ideas.

I’d love to hear what other people’s thoughts are on this.


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Book Review – Free Agent Nation

Book Review:  Free Agent Nation

By: Daniel H. Pink
[Read February, 2010]

How America’s New Independent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live

I decided to read Free Agent Nation after reading a few articles about Daniel Pink and also after reading his 2005 book A Whole New Mind.  I really enjoyed A Whole New Mind, so I thought I would try this book.  Pink, a former speech writer for Al Gore, has made a name for himself in writing about careers and the future of work.  This is his first book.  Other books include A Whole New Mind, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, and his most recent book, Drive.

Although this book is a bit outdated (it was written in 2001), the premise of the book is still very true today.  The basis of the book is about the large shift of today’s workforce becoming independent workers who operate as freelancers or operate their own businesses.  He calls this collective group of workers “free agents”.  The book discusses several topics including; a history of free agents, the free agent culture, and challenges facing independent workers.

The History of Work and the Rise of the Independent Workforce
In the first section, Pink does a good job at providing a brief history of work in America over the last 150 years or so.  The basic point he makes is that the industrialization of America brought about the employer-employee relationship and the 40-hour work week as we know it today.

He discussed that during most of the 20th century there was a commitment-for-security exchange that occurred between employer and employee – the employee gives their commitment to the company and the company gives the employee a pension and a job for life.   This relationship started to change around the end of the 20th century due to several reasons including:

1) Additional competitive pressures within America as well as the rest of the world,
2) Technological advances which made efficiencies available to all sizes of companies and not just large companies,
3) The increased wealth of America, which freed up time and money for individuals to pursue their own endeavors,
4) The increased pressure for organizations to perform and change (aka the “reduced half-life of organizations”)

Pink provides some anecdotal evidence that 1 in every 4 Americans is a free agent.  This is based off of several sources he outlines, although it is pretty obvious these are estimates at best.

The Free Agent Culture
As a result of the increase in independent workers in America, Pink outlines several areas where the independent work culture is very different from the traditional work culture.  He outlines three areas where differences are pronounced; 1) work ethics, 2) the employment contract, and 3) the time clock.  In general, the changes to these three areas can be described as more flexible.

He provides several examples of where loyalty to a company is no longer prevalent, but loyalty to peers, projects, and industries are more common.  He discusses several areas where the employment contract is much more project-specific, flexible and risky for the independent contractor, but can provide much more reward also.   There are also several examples of how the independent worker’s time clock is much more flexible and no longer exists within the 8-5 timeframe.

Another large change that is described in the book is the relationship between independent workers as well as the rise of new industries meant to support independent workers.  Some of these new industries include agents, coaches, and matchmakers.

Challenges Facing Free Agents
Pink does not go throughout the book without pointing out some of the downfalls and problems with independent workers in the 21st century.  He again outlines three main challenges that independent workers will have to face; 1) health insurance, 2) taxes, and 3) zoning laws.   He points out several examples where our current laws and regulations are set up for the old system of working and provides several ideas for solutions to these problems.

In Summary
Overall I really enjoyed this book.  It is a quick read and provides a good summary and lots of anecdotal evidence about the rise of the so-called free agent nation.  I like the way that Pink writes his books  – they all provide a lot of useful information, but also provides a lot of his own insights into where the future should or could be going.   I’ve been reading a lot of books on entrepreneurship and careers and this is a good read for those looking to learn more about becoming an independent worker.


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