How many of you know how an airplane stays in the air? Most of you do I’m sure. You know that air going over the wing is faster than air going under the wing so it creates more pressure under the wing and therefore you get lift (Bernoulli Principle) – and with this principle a big, heavy, huge, object will for all intents and purposes, defeat gravity.
I’m also guessing that most of you know that in order for a plane to get airborne you need to have the wings moving fast enough to create that lift.
So… the vast majority of you know enough to build an airplane right? It's simple…
Ta Da! You’re an aeronautical engineer!
I’m kidding of course.
My point is this – no one would assume they can build a safe and effective airplane with that amount of knowledge. That’s why we like to have people who went to school and learned the formulas, weight, lift, drag, power, etc. We want people to design airplanes that work and work well.
Incentive Programs Are The Same
Unfortunately, most incentive programs are put together like an amateur plane. I’ll walk you through the logic:
It Doesn't Work That Way
While some may argue that building an airplane is tough – I'd argue that understanding why people do things is just as tough (probably tougher since there are no "laws of behavior" – guidelines maybe but no laws.)
So for 2010 – take this HUGE piece of advice:
Don’t assume that because you have some basic knowledge of how people are influenced by rewards and the fact you are a person, lead you to believe you have the appropriate knowledge needed to design and run an effective incentive program.
Take a lesson from these guys (email subscribers click through for video) – having basic knowledge is a sure path to poor outcomes!
Originally posted on on Incentive Intelligence