About a book

Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people—at work, at school, at home. It's wrong. As Daniel H. Pink (author of the forthcoming book To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) explains in his paradigm-shattering book Drive, the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today's world is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.
— from Goodreads.com

3 types of drives

  1. Biological drive - from within. Food, water, sex, ...
  2. Extrinsic drive - from without, environment. Rewards and punishments - e.g. salary, grades
  3. Intrinsic drive - activity itself is gratifying. The joy of the task was its own reward.

Biological and extrinsic are essential, but when they are at risk, they can disturb performance, concentration and lead to errors.

If you reward something, you get more of the behavior you want?
If you punish something, you get less of the behavior you want?

Motivation changelog

  • Human v1.0 - survive & replicate
  • Human v2.0 - seek reward, avoid punishment
  • Human v2.5 - gain respect, fame
  • Human v3.0 - seek purpose, grow, satisfaction, autonomy, mastery

Fresh types of motivations are needed to fresh types of solutions.

Personal fulfillment

Living a satisfying life requires more than simply meeting the demands of those in control.

Engagement is starting point to mastery.

The goal is self-fulfilling and the activity is its own reward = autotelic experience.

Effort means you care about something, that something is important to you and you are willing to work for it.

Pure motivation leads to full focus, determination and enjoyment even without reward or applause.

We are purpose maximizers, not profit maximizers.


Goal is to learn, not to prove you are smart. (Got it wrong at school)

Human beings have natural tendency to seek challenges, explore, learn and create new things. Somewhere between young-hood and adulthood this is lost. Are we active and engaged by default?

Motivation done wrong

Pay child to solve math exercise, short-term boost, but long-term loose of interest.

Reward is sign that task is undesirable.

Blood donors intrinsic motivation. Involve pay-to-bleed reward and they would stop.


Baseline reward (salary) - must be adequate and equitable. Allows employees to concentrate on work. Rising reward above baseline level will not increase quality or performance. In cognitive skill, it even decrease performance!!!

Hire good people and leave them alone. ~ William McKnight

Flatten organization hierarchy, bigger teams leads to need for self-organization and self-motivation of members.

Solution-reward metrics is bad: tend to choose easier and quicker problems and methods » learn less. Trying to just to get it done.
Just to trigger the reward, no more. (Students reading thin books).

Billable hour is relic. Creative jobs are not restricted to working hours. Billable hours leads employee to stop think about work when not getting paid.

Hardcore brain teaser - involve conditioned reward -> worse results. (narrow focus, less creativity). Focus on price instead of problem.

State of flow:

  • Goal is clear.
  • Feedback is immediate.
  • What you have to do is adequate to what you could do - not to easy, not to hard.

If you do … than you get … = basic form of motivation. Feeling that you are under control of situation » less enjoyment.

Give employers:

  • Autonomy - self-directed, allow engagement. Control over choosing Task, Time, Technique and Team.
  • Mastery - play instruments on weekends.
  • Purpose
  • Baseline reward

Types of work

  • Algorithmic - motivation 2.0 is enough. OK to reward. But explain why it is important, that it is part of bigger problem, acknowledge its boringness, let people accomplish goal in their own way.
  • Heuristic - motivation 2.0 is NOT enough.


  • Give employees part of time (eg. 20%, every Friday) to work on projects of their choosing.
  • Spend 1 day a week on side project.
  • Let employees decide on what they will make.
  • FedEx day - 1 day, people do what they decide, managers get of the way. Deliver at the end of the day.

Motivation paradoxes to think about

Fine paradox

Problem: People are coming late to scheduled events (work, appointments, meetings, ...).
Solution: In order to reduce lateness, introduce financial fine for coming late.
Result: People will come even later. They would be "buying" extra time. Moral obligation will change to money transaction.

Lost motivation after financial reward

Work for free, enjoy it » get paid for it » work harder » stop getting paid » loose interest and refuse to work at initials conditions. Better not get paid ever.

10$ paradox

10$ are given to you and your friend, but only if he divide it and you agree.

Sawyer paradox

When work is presented as fun, it can be done for free.
Eg. Sawyer persuaded friends to paint a fence for free, as a game.

Encyclopedia paradox

Encarta - by Microsoft, paying authors

Opensource paradox

Skilled people do hard challenging work, for free, they give it away.
Eg. Linux, Apache
Even reviews, discussions, ...
-> Challenge mastery, make contribution.

Unsorted notes

Why are we participating in Internet discussions?
Why are we writing reviews for products on e-shops?
Why are we helping others that we don't know for free?

  • I do it for me, because of intrinsic motivation. It challenge us,

Pure motivation examples:

Solving puzzle just for solving it.