The best way to improve the performance of any team, division, or department is to add a little competition – right? It’s simple, really: create a contest, add an incentive, define the rules and the boundaries, and step back and watch the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) skyrocket! Need to improve your safety record? Just add “Bingo.” Need to boost sales? Just create a really big reward (people like getting new automobiles). That’s got to work! Might the numbers improve with just the right amount of inducements? Absolutely, the numbers will improve. Humans can achieve just about any number you want when they’re rewarded with enough goodies. But how they get the numbers to improve will disappoint you…

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Incentives: Unintended Consequences

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