Back in the old days, when an international team of Ph.D. social scientists and veteran graphic designers first conceived the idea of emotionally intelligent signage in a series of secret all-night meetings in my garage*, the term had a particular meaning.
The idea was that signs could be more effective - that is, they were more likely to produce the desired behavior - if they: a) expressed empathy with the viewer; or b) elicited empathy in the viewer. The concept has widened a bit since then, particularly with examples of signs using humor to make their point.
But last week Kathleen Curry sent us a sign that meets the classic, original definition. Driving on Coleman Blvd. in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, she spotted the sign below. It reminds me of what the town of Needham, Massachusetts, did not too long ago - and it's apparently part of a national movement.
Hard to say for sure whether this sort of sign will change behavior, but I'm guessing it just might.
Daniel H. Pink is the author of four provocative books about the changing world of work - including the long-running New York Times bestseller, A Whole New Mind, and the #1 New York Times bestseller, Drive. His books have been translated into 33 languages. Dan lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their three children.
From Daniel H. Pink, the author of the bestselling A Whole New Mind, comes a paradigm-shattering look at what truly motivates us and how we can use that knowledge to work smarter and live better.
Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money-the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, Daniel H. Pink says in, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, his provocative and persuasive new book. The secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home-is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.
Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does-and how that affects every aspect of life. He demonstrates that while carrots and sticks worked successfully in the twentieth century, that's precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today's challenges. In Drive, he examines the three elements of true motivation-autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action. Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward.
Drive is bursting with big ideas-the rare book that will change how you think and transform how you live.