Mark Oehlert – About money and other incentives

So, a couple of points. One, we can either look at the idea of changing people’s main incentive from money to something else. That’s one battle. Or we can look at how we can use money, or how we can realize that money is going to be a huge driver, and just change the way people can get to that reward, to kind of achieve the goals that we want them to achieve in terms of collaboration. When I talked early about bringing Human Resources to the table so that we can actually change how people do their jobs and are rated and assessed on how they do their jobs, so that, “we’re going to change your job. You’re going to get your money. And we’re just going to change the behaviors you need to engage in to get that money”. I also think that money is a motivator for people. This is at the employee level in terms of at one level. But I think in another level, especially if it relates to things like retaining employees and talent management, that having a collaborative environment is much more important than money in those activities.

So I think that if I’m talking to the CEO, trying to explain how collaboration can increase the bottom line, I’m not going to say, “well, because if we all trust each other, we’ll collaborate better”. What I’ll say is, “if we establish an environment in which people can trust each other and collaborate more, without having to raise salaries by a euro, we will increase our ability to attract and retain quality employees, because they’ll feel more a part of the organization. They’ll feel more involved. They’ll feel more loyalty to the organization”. So we haven’t changed that money is the driver. I used to work for a consulting firm in DC. And we had an entire division that built war games. Games that the generals play at the war colleges to figure things out. And so what they did was they took their knowledge of how to build the war game. And they changed it from a military organization to the consulting firm.

So instead of conducting a battle, the game was how do you win business? How do you staff that job? And how do you those kinds of activities within the context of a larger organization? And it was really interesting because people who had worked in their own little divisions for so long were able to get this really visceral understanding of the organization as an entire organism that they weren’t able to get before. And without paying anybody any additional money, I think you got a lot of, well, people are aware of other parts of the organization. They were aware of places where collaboration might be important that they weren’t before.

So I think providing people with that larger picture of the organization, which can be a challenge, people like to think we’re going to get them in this channel and keep them focused. But sometimes providing them that bigger picture allows them to find those areas for collaboration on their own. That’s why I think some of the tools the Web 2.0 and the Social Media that we’re seeing coming up now and the Enterprise 2.0 Focus is so important because it starts to expose those opportunities for collaboration within the organization.

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