You know what humans are terrible with?


We don’t do well when we have to think in longer time scales.

Save for retirement? I’ll do that next year after all I won’t need that for another 40 years.

Lose weight? I can start tomorrow – one day won’t make a difference.

Exercise? See above.

We are short-term thinkers. We can only allocate a certain amount of our brain’s available RAM to what’s important now! The tyranny of the urgent over the important.

Yet most incentive programs focus on 12-month objectives and little else.

That’s bad design.

Break your program into discrete pieces that lead to annual goals.

Reward monthly outcomes. Reward quarterly outcomes. They add up to annual outcomes. Don’t ask your participants to focus 12 months down the line. They won’t. They are more focused on what’s for dinner.

Is your program designed to allow participants to forget about it until it is so late in the year they can’t be successful?

Yeah… I thought so.

Don’t try to change human nature. Use it to your advantage.

Baby steps lead to leaps and bounds.