Challenging Dan Pink

Reading Dan Pink’s Drive, I saw a lot that I’d seen before, more that resonated, but was left with some concern that the presentation was too one sided. too much special pleading. He seemed overly credulous and unquestioning.

I scoured the web and found a few who were willing to take him on. Here is one

I believe in the need for autonomy, mastery, and purpose in knowledge work. I’m also fairly sure that companies need to channel and focus in ways that work for their ends. There’s a lot to like in Pink’s book, but I can’t accept it all uncritically.

The thing is, experients in the business of software development is hard. Moreover, it’s hard to incent the right behavior unless you know what you are after and how to recognize it when you see it. For now, I’m going to concentrate on leveraging self organizing teams focused with a good set of goals and processes. The goals should include business objectives, learning objectives, and personal objectives. Sounds a lot like balanced scorecard doesn’t it.

I’m also going to keep working on tracking approaches that give everyone meaningful and objective feedback.


About Bill Nichols

PhD in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University I'm a software team coach and instructor with the TSP Team at the Software Engineering Institute
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