Many of you reading these pages have heard my refrain that “Incentives are the cornerstone of life”, a mantra preached by Steven Levitt & Co. in their landmark book, Freakonomics. Their blog calls it “the hidden side of everything.”
Welcome to SuperFreakonomics, the newest contribution to their study of incentives and how they dominate the motivation of rational minds … making some allowance, of course, for the irrational reasons we do things. What I find fascinating about Levitt’s work is the underside of incentive plans … how they often don’t work at all like we expected … or drive totally different results than we intended. See, for example, the thread about how these concepts apply to the scuttlebutt about global warming.
Spend some time with this book. A thoughtful reading of it will help you better understand the quality of your incentive plans and how to diagnose them more carefully to make sure they’re driving the intended results.