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How To Make Incentives Work

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The VP of sales whispered to me, “I’m about to be embarrassed.” I looked at him quizzically. He continued, “I’m about to announce the incentive plans for selling our new product. I didn’t realize you’d be here. I know how you feel about incentives.” I nodded in agreement. I am an outspoken, and published, advocate for the body of evidence proving how detrimental external rewards are on performance. Whispering back, I asked, “Why are you offering incentives?” I could read the  »  Read More

What’s the best-kept secret of leadership?

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Can you make the two columns of numbers add up to the same total by swapping just two cards? Take extra credit if you can solve it without looking up the answer online. Take extra credit if you’re savvy enough to find the answer online.     The solution to the puzzle is the same as the best-kept secret of leadership! This secret saves you time and wasted effort on everyday activities. Still need a clue? Below are three clues in the form of research-based best practices that  »  Read More

When Reality Smacks You in the Face

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The CEO rejected my proposal by explaining, “Susan, your problem is you keep creating nine-ton elephants for two-ton cages.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This man was putting the kibosh on a cutting-edge product based on his limited perspective and lack of imagination. What did he know about instructional design? He might not appreciate my creativity and the impact it would have on participants’ learning, but others did. I had just accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award from  »  Read More

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