Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
The book starts out by pointing out an - often overlooked - discrepancy between what companies think are good motivation strategies ("carrot & stick") and what science has found out about them, i.e. that they are not always working and that they may even have the opposite effect. The rest of the book then goes on to explore better ways to encourage employees, students, etc.
Basically, it comes down to three elements: Autonomy (give people autonomy over how they do their work), Mastery (allow people to get into a mindset of "flow" and continuous improvement), and Purpose (have a higher purpose, i.e. something other than "making money"). This explanation is probably a bit short, but it will all make more sense when read in context.
As usual with these kinds of books, the interesting part is how to make those changes in real life. "Drive" provides examples from companies that have successfully made the change and also provides a list of questions to start the discussion with your coworkers. The rest then is up to you ...
The first part is a bit repetitive in places and could probably be shortened by 20 pages or so. I guess the author wanted to really make sure his points get across. The logic seems sound and backed by science, so I don't see a problem with the content as such - it's just a bit too long.
On a side note: The printing I have (Canongate paperback) has an odd quirk: On pretty much every page, there is one word where the characters are squished together, making that one word hard to read. It usually involves a word starting with an fl or fi ligature which is then squashed into the following letters of the word. Pretty annoying.
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