Which behavior are you rewarding?


Are you rewarding the wanted behavior in your organisation? Or only what looks like it? What actually pays off?

A pad on the backFor spreading the message we use presentations, inspirational talks, blogs etc. For projects we create project charters, planning schemes, critical paths and status reports. For looking at results we create data, charts, interpretations and more presentations.

Because people like to listen and other people like to talk, we spread more of these blogs, presentations and charts. We like the stuff that looks like output of something, but when we look close the actual added value is not always found. Who’s doing something with it?

As Leandro Herrero describes in his book “Viral change“, we are rewarding the wrong kind of behavior. We are actually confirming, rewarding and thus stimulating the “production” of things like presentations and stories, but we are not looking at the results they deliver. What good are all these inputs if there is no useful output?

“Waw, that was a great presentation. Next please.”

As long as we keep rewarding this behavior (by any means likeĀ promotion, salary increase, recognition, laughs, etc), the people in your organisation will keep exhibiting it.

The same is valid for this blog. For me it is a great way to spread my story and experiences, but I wonder who is doing something with it…

(FYI – with this post, I hope to make you more critical and start thinking in terms of output instead input)

Additional reading

Viral change

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2 thoughts on “Which behavior are you rewarding?

  1. […] one of the challenges is how to translate strategic directives into concrete behavior that can be distributed as behavioral anchors or […]

  2. […] it has any results? If you’re only focusing on acquiring and publishing stories, you might get lost in producing input. The danger is that you invest a lot of time and effort that doesn’t pay back. One (of many) […]

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