Musings on


By April 5, 2011

Carrots and sticks: The unlikely consequences of incentives

Many of our clients in professional services rely on one key component for their continued success: human beings. Sure, most companies have some sort of internal processes and IP, but at the end of the day, it’s the human-driven brainpower, motivation, and creativity that create the biggest “wins” within an organization.

Which means, of course, that success is integrally linked to the motivation of those who work for you.

More Money = Worse Performance. Who Knew?!

So, how can business owners get more out of this most valuable resource? While most might think it’s more money, better benefits, or afternoon massages, few of these incentives actually produce the desired result. In fact, studies show that monetary incentives – particularly for highly-cognitive professions – can actually have the opposite effect on employees, DECREASING outcomes!

Curious? Watch this powerful video from Dan Pink on what truly motivates us: autonomy, mastery, and – most importantly – purpose.

Also of note is Pink’s TED talk on the subject:


ABOUT Shawn Busse

Kinesis CEO Shawn Busse has an incredible knack for finding opportunities in your business and turning them into new streams of revenue. No one does a better job with launching brands, making a splash, and monetizing marketing efforts. Over the years, Shawn has led numerous transformational business efforts; his fundamental approach to doing business is summed up in two words: win-win.

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