Incentive Intelligence

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psychology

80% of Good Incentive Designers Know Social Proof Can Backfire

I spent an hour with a friend and behavioral science/behavioral investor author yesterday recording a podcast. I’ll alert you when/if it goes live. We talked about a lot of things – one of which was using social proof as a… 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 →

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 →

The Incentive “Archer” Rule

We like simple answers. We like one-trick ponies. We like easy. This laziness also applies to our incentive program design. Too often solution architects stop early and design a program with a singular dimension and hope it will achieve the… Continue Reading →

“Pseu-Pseu-Pseudio” Motivation?

When you are outbid on an auction site you get ticked off. You jump on your phone and bid again – claiming your rightful place at the top of the heap as the #1 bidder. Then someone bids above you… Continue Reading →

Head Starts Can Double Results

People love a head start. So much so if you give your program participants a head start in your incentive program you will get much higher results. In one experiment with “punch cards”, people who were given a “get a… Continue Reading →

Incentive Programs Are About Choices – Not “Conditioning”

There is a lot of conversation in the incentive blogsphere (yeah – it’s a thing) about how incentive programs influence behaviors. So much of it is misinformed and just bad design. There is too much braying from program designers who… 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 →

Posting Everywhere but Here

Sometimes I get busy writing for other people and don’t get a chance to support my own blog. This is one of those weeks. I had two posts go live this week on different sites. I must of been in… 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 →

I Knew Paul Was Meant for Greater Things When…

Unfortunately, I’ve been to funerals. I’ll wager you have too. Common to most is the “memory lane” exercise, where a family member, friend or religious representative, walks through the life and times of the deceased. For one funeral I attended… Continue Reading →

5-Part Blog Series in PDF Form – Thoughts on Enterprise Incentive & Reward Design

The first post in this series went up July 25, 2017 and the final installment was live on October 12, 2017. Can’t rush brilliance – or its opposite. I said when I started the series that I’d combine the posts… 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 →

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