Rewards: The biggest idea killer of all?

Alan Robinson, writing as a guest author in the Fast Company Weblog, explains how extrinsic rewards can undermine employees' creativity.

Alan Robinson, writing as a guest author in the Fast Company Weblog, explains how extrinsic rewards can undermine employees’ creativity:

“Organizations that offer potentially large rewards for individual ideas (the most common way is to give a percentage of each idea’s revenue or cost-savings back to the suggester) create an enormous distortion in the kinds of ideas that come in, create all kinds of bureaucracy and dysfunction, and end up getting fewer ideas than if they hadn’t offered rewards for ideas in the first place.”

Amazingly, the managers that he and his Ideas Are Free co-author talked to while researching their book naturally assumed that their reward programs were very effective, when in fact this tool was probably working against them.

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