Category Research

Do We ALWAYS Need Return on Investment?

In today’s hyper-analytic, big-data business world Return on Investment (ROI) is axiomatic. Don’t even think about running a marketing program, or designing a program, or even thinking about a program before you’ve proven an insanely positive ROI.  But is that… Continue Reading →

Correction? I was wrong once but then found out I was mistaken.

Yesterday’s post was about “reward velocity”, with the point being that good program design looks for smaller, incremental opportunities to reward and engage with the program participants. Those events keep the program visible in the work and life flow of… Continue Reading →

A Thousand Ways to do Something That Will Never Work 100% of the Time

Motivation has been studied, prodded, poked and dissected since cavepeople were painting on walls. And all that effort has led to multiple theories of why people do what they do. I believe each has a modicum of value and insight… Continue Reading →

You Don’t Run Incentive Programs To Be Nice

Companies run incentive programs that use non-cash awards for very specific reasons. Most of those reasons, if not all, participants will argue with. They will argue because their objective and the company’s objective, are very different. Companies don’t run these… Continue Reading →

The Most Underutilized Tool in the Incentive Program Toolkit

Guess. What is the one tool that is almost free, has a huge impact on individual performance, yet is rarely used correctly or often? [Imagine Jeopardy theme in your mind right now.] It’s not rewards – points, travel, cash or… Continue Reading →

Trick or Treat Your Self!

A month ago myself and too very scary guys from Behavioral Grooves – Tim Houlihan and Dr. Kurt Nelson – crafted our Frankenstein of an ebook called: “7 Deadly Sins to Avoid in Sales Incentive Design.” We then followed that… Continue Reading →

If Everyone Else Jumped Off a Bridge Would You?

I heard that so often growing up. I’ve said it myself with my kids. I think it is embedded subliminally when they hand you your first child at the hospital. And even with the warnings, we all have jumped off… Continue Reading →

It’s Not the Destination – It’s the Journey

How many times have you heard “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey”? A few? And some will ask… “Is it? Is it really?” And short answer might be, Yes. According to research what keeps people behaving and doing the… Continue Reading →

Never Cross the Social and Market Norms Streams

One of my favorite books on influence is “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely. It’s a mash up of “Freakonmics” and “Influence: Science and Practice” and “Fooled by Randomness.” I reference the book regularly and have my e-notes in a special file… Continue Reading →

One Question to Ask if You Want to Increase Performance

Incentive programs reward people for hitting specific goals.  Typically, you announce the requirements and as your audience performs and hit the specified hurdles, they earn awards – points, credits, what have you. The points earned can be redeemed for merchandise,… Continue Reading →

Incentive Award Choices – Focus on “We” Awards

What I thought about this weekend is that most companies would love to have all their employees (or their distribution channel and customers for that matter) focused on the best interests of the company.  However, that is a difficult task. … Continue Reading →

Why I can’t write another post about the importance of employee engagement.

Because it is 2018. That’s why. Writing another post on employee engagement would be like writing a post about why fire is good. Or why electricity is good. I think they’ve actually changed the opening scene of Animal House to… Continue Reading →

Why Maslow Needs to Retire

A while back (like in 2009) I wrote what follows. This is edited a bit but by and large it is the same post (google seo be damned!) Back then I ran a decidedly unscientific poll asking if Maslow’s Hierarchy… Continue Reading →

Employee Engagement and The Stanford Prison Experiment

Image a world where the meek have really inherited the earth. Where the rich are now at the bottom of the economic pyramid and the poor are now the ruling class. Imagine working in a factory shooting screws for 10… Continue Reading →

Just Throw a Webinar – May 25 at Noon EDT

Six years ago I wrote a post on Fistful of Talent called “Just Throw Strikes.” The gist of the post was that too often what we think is helpful advice is rarely that. At best it is just a restatement… Continue Reading →

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