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Good Reads

We regularly add books to our Recommended Reading list.  The latest recommendation is:


by Dan Pink

How do you motivate people?  Having been a student and teacher of the topic since 1997, I have a particular set of views on the answer.  Many of them are articulated well in Drive.  If I had a gun to my head and had to provide an answer I'd say that reward for learning, variety of stimuli and validation are three major ingredients to the cocktail.  However, environment plays a much larger part to the answer than anything you or I can directly 'do' to a person.

Most people motivate themselves, on a daily basis.  They're not waiting for you to do it to them.  However, what kind of working or family environment have you created for them?  Is it stimulating and varied?  Does it celebrate and reward their gifts?  Are you active in your praise for learning and effort?  

Dan Pink's work summarizes the thinking in the field.  It explains the difference between extrinsic motivators, what I'd call 'universals' and intrinsic motivators, what I'd call 'preferences'.   Clearly, if each of us has enough so that we are thinking about contribution, over survival, we are then motivated differently. 

As the classes have continued, and the students have passed through, this book has become a staple on the topic area; well received by all students!  A neat trick.

Daryle Abrahams
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