Saturday, September 24, 2011

Drive and 10 Easy Ways to Improve your Website

A (somewhat) Mini-Review of Drive.

Keep meaning to write a review for the book Drive - The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink, but have not yet gotten to it. So, here's a mini review:
• Raman Chadha, the Executive Director & Clinical Professor of DePaul University's Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, turned me on to it. If you knew Raman, this would be reason enough to read it.
• It uses quantitative data and studies to support its ideas, not anecdotal ideas. (It's not a another insipid business parable, thank God!) Another good reason.
• I have often thought the carrot&stick approach was either ineffective or outdated and this book provides a strong argument to that effect. Again, using studies for comparison.
• My biggest problem with carrot and stick is that it provides rewards (or rapped knuckles) at the end of the process, which is often at the end of a fiscal year. Yes, I know you can reward/punish sooner, but this is still too late for marketing and business development. "He failed, so we will ding his annual bonus." "But I want him to do better now, not feel pain at the end of the year." (Also, too many bosses let them off the hook at the end of the year or the people do not think it'll stick, so they bet on not actually having to pay for their failure.)
• A carrot or a stick provides a "cost" for action or inaction. Too many people will pay this cost. And this cost is variable, since people value money differently. What I like about Drive is that it explores this "failure payment" idea.
• My last issue with carrot & stick motivation is the amount of effort is takes to create and track that effort vs. creating and tracking the desired process and outcome.
• Drive explores just how much money motivates action. And how much people "game" the system to get the money without actually performing the desired action. Certainly not performing it in any sustainable manner. More importantly, it goes down the path of what you can (and should) do instead.

In short: if any of this makes you curious ... read Drive, the book.

Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Website And Bring in More Customers.

Co-wrote this article with WSI. Pretty basic stuff, but that was the intended audience. I welcome any comments.

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