Re:Incentives LO1173

Tobin Quereau (
Fri, 12 May 1995 12:20:41 -0500 (CDT)

Replying to LO1162 --

Thanks for the eloquent post on the "motivation" delimma. As I was
reading it I could not help but think of a related situation that
probably has much to do with the creation of "BAD" systems in the
first place--that is, our educational approaches in general.

If I might take the liberty of adding a couple of words to your paragraphs,
the essence of what I am thinking will probably come through:

On Thu, 11 May 1995, Joe Kilbride wrote ...[with minor additions]...:

> Re:Incentives LO1118, LO1121, etc.


> Ultimately the debate about incentives, motivation, merit, appraisal, etc.
> comes down to extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation. For me personally, one
> of the biggest obstacles to letting go of the idea that management
>...[educational]... systems must be based on extrinsic motivation (rewards,
> commissions, incentives, goals, etc.)...[grades, certificates, prizes,
> awards]... was the evidence that these methods work. Most managers, like
> myself, have PERSONAL experience of how goals, rewards, incentives have
> led to better results. This "learning" is hard to overcome.
> The AHA for me was in realizing that extrinsic motivation is an effective
> way to get improved performance from a BAD system. We have designed our
> organizations and much of the individual work in them so that the
> intrinsic joy and motivation possible thru work ...[learning]
> stripped away. In such circumstances the only way to improve performance is
> via extrinsic motivation. It is how we have learned to make the best of a
> bad situation.
> The answer lies in redesigning our ...[educational]... organizations and
> people's work ...[students' learning]... in ways that make the work
> ...[learning]...itself intrinsically motivating. Give people "whole,
> satisfying jobs" as Marvin Weisbord says. Make learning, and the intrinsic
> motivation that comes with it, a key design feature of each and every job.
> ...[classroom]... Until we do so, MBO/goals/rewards/incentives ...[and
> dropouts]...will remain a staple of ...[educational]... management.
> Yes, I do recognize that designing orgs/work for intrinsic motivation is
> an extraordinarily difficult task. This will probably be the most
> challenging part of the transformation of American management....[education].
> Regards,
> ----------------------------->
> Joe Kilbride --
> <----------------------------
> I never said it would be easy,
> I just said it would work.
> -- W. Edwards Deming

...[with additions by Tobin Quereau]...