The following message is a continuation from my article called, "Managers Lie Because You Want Them To." You can read it here. One of my favorite books of all-time is called, Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn. Published over 50 years ago, Kohn predicted our obsession with psychologist B.F. Skinner’s theory of behaviorism was making us soft (a.k.a addicts). He used multiple studies to show when we use incentives and rewards to drive behavior, it negatively impacts growth and innovation. We become helpless and dependent. We conform and focus only on the reward. He termed the over-use of incentives “pop-behaviorism” and declared if we continued to give every kid a trophy and every employee a bonus for just doing what was expected, we’d have an entire society addicted to bribes... welcome to 2013.
June 16, 2013