Friday, February 16, 2007

Motivation and rewards

I spent yesterday afternoon in the company of fellow HR practitioners. It was a "fast track" forum on Cashless Rewards and Motivation which surprisingly attracted quite a sizable number of participants - more than 70, which is not so bad considering that participants had to shell out a few thousand bucks for the event. Some of the participants were even CEOs. There were five speakers - I was the third.

I talked about myths and metaphors in rewards and motivation and tried to link theory and application. It was fun although I got the feeling that many people still do not get their science right.

This really makes me wonder - what is it that people get from all those years in school if they don't get the theories right? Is it a problem of teachers' dismal failure in "selling" the value of the theories? Are teachers simply asking students to memorize "theories" without making any attempt to link these theories to actual real-life applications? It seems people forget theories, principles, philosophies as soon as they pass an exam.

People like to assert that "there is no need to reinvent the wheel." In reality, they actually do.
There's still a lot of trial and error being done in the area of human resources, a lot of practices that are based mainly on gut feel and intuition. It is enough to make one ask - where's the science behind all that?

The thing is that everything about human behavior has been studied and analyzed many times over by many behavior scientists. There's a wealth of theory that can support many of the things we do in leadership, management, even in politics actually.

Things would be a lot simpler if we learn more science even in the area of human behavior.

La lang. Just thinking aloud.

1 comment:

domingo said...

"There's a wealth of theory that can support many of the things we do in leadership, management, even in politics actually."--bong

Bong, for those who are in "politics" as a "career," I suggest the following websites on a particular "human behavior":

http://www.beyondintractability.org/
http://conflict.colorado.edu/
http://www.crinfo.org/

Domingo