Dan Pink's book Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us is another brick in the thick genre-wall of business-motivational tomes. It features some modern psychology and neuroscience — along with a lot of feel-good self-justification aimed at managers and executives. No need to pay people (beyond a fuzzily-undefined baseline); just give them "Autonomy" and "Purpose", let them seek and achieve "Mastery", and they will work hard for you. No need to cite evidence that disagrees with your hypothesis. No need for nuance.

That's a caricature of Drive, and it's unfortunately accurate. Pink focuses on folks who are successful, celebrities, the winners of the race, those who are already living in the nice neighborhood with the multi-car garage. There's not much thought given to those who fell short, and why they failed. Not much about assisting one another over rough patches, or about the need that everyone has for help when young or aged, ill or injured. We're all broken at one time or another, all need patching. There's not much charity or love in Drive.

And alas, there's the attempt to define new jargon, in the apparent hope that it will catch on and give the author a bit of extra stickiness, some enduring fame in the meme-o-sphere. Pink's proposed terminology isn't worth mentioning; it's derivative and unnecessary. For better science, try Ariely and Kahneman et al.

^z - 2019-09-16