Incentive pay is old school.

Common sense says that if you want an outcome, you simply incentivize the right behaviors and you’ll get it.

Well, turns out there’s a ton of evidence against that idea.

Here’s what a 1993 HBR article has to say about it:

“Incentives, a version of what psychologists call extrinsic motivators, do not alter the attitudes that underlie our behaviors. They do not create an enduring commitment to any value or action. Rather, incentives merely—and temporarily—change what we do.”

Are the outcomes and agility we are looking for in our businesses too big for incentives?

Instead, maybe it’s about the culture we foster.

And i don’t mean ping pong, beer on tap, open floor plans and dogs in the office.

I mean a *real* culture of execution.

And top-down alignment.

And vision.

Personal accountability.

High expectations from management as well as peer to peer.

Is it time to leave this dated concept of coin-operated humans behind? Who’s made this shift and how’s it working out?


HBR piece for reference👇

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