Dan Pink

The Puzzle of Motivation

Dan Pink gives us a new lens to look at human motivation and provides advice on how to get the best out of ourselves, our teams and the organisations we lead.



Pink argues today’s economy requires higher-order thinking skills and creativity, which are undermined by traditional ‘carrot and stick’ reward systems.

These extrinsic motivators worked well last century when work was largely routine in nature, but in today’s more complex world, intrinsic motivation is vital to success.

Pink introduces three key tenets:

Autonomy:  the desire to direct our own lives and work on our own terms;

Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters;

Purpose: the desire to work in the service of something larger than ourselves.

We also highly recommend his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. It details the science behind his findings, and offers a comprehensive toolkit for further analysis, discussion and practical application.

Whether you’re running a company or managing a household, Drive will make you rethink everything you do to motivate yourself and those around you.


“By neglecting the ingredients of genuine motivation – autonomy, mastery, and purpose, we limit what each of us can achieve.”

Dan Pink, DRIVE

“There’s a mismatch between what science knows, and what business does.”

Dan Pink, DRIVE