I love (and hate) "Drive"

If you “manage” children or work colleagues or even yourself — that’s, I hope, all of you — then you must read Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us for its fascinating and extremely useful analysis of why we behave as we do and how to create an environment in which happy, engaged workers produce superior results.

80% of my LOVES this book. 20% of me HATES it… because I should have written it more than a decade ago.

A chapter in my dissertation empirically analyzed what I called “high-performance work organizations.” I showed statistically that employees with greater autonomy over their work — what they did, how they did it, with whom they did it, where and when they did it, etc. — were more creative, worked harder, produced more, and enjoyed their work more. I received strong resistance from economics professors, many of whom thought my subject “touchy-feely,” didn’t believe my results, or believed my findings apply only to white collar work.

More than a decade later, over 200 people have reviewed Drive on Amazon, and Daniel Pink’s latest is a runaway hit. My “high-performance work organization” is now a “results-oriented work environment,” but it’s the exact same phenomenon.

Wonderful book. Wish I had written it.

Posted by James on Wednesday, May 18, 2011