This compilation on targets and other incentives and the second film from a sales environment was recorded between 2010 and 2013. All of the staff and managers had the opportunity to study and learn together to understand their service from the customer’s point of view. When they removed the targets, changed the design of the service and introduced better measures the results were staggering. This lesson is that the majority of performance is down to the design of the system. Focusing upon people misses the point. Changing the system gives you better results.
Becoming aware and making visible
Many managers are often unaware of the dysfunction, cost and poor quality driven into services through the use of incentives. One of the core tasks for us (as interventionists) is to help leaders and staff see and understand. If you are a leader, manager, business analyst, technology designer, services improvement consultant it is important to gain basic grounding in the theory and the thinking surrounding targets (e.g. theories of control, incentives, human motivation, variation, variety attenuation, unintended consequences) and the different perspectives. And we should at least know how to study the services that we help bring into being to understand what the actual impacts of the designs are. If they are found to be harmful then they should be removed or improved. And if as leaders we can’t influence or remove, we have a duty to protect the service, staff and service users from any predictable adverse effects.
This is an example from a sales call centre.