Ethan McCarty

Digital strategy | Social business | People-centric biznology

Tag Archives: behaviors

>Promoting behaviors through real incentives

>When we talk about promoting behaviors we need to think about what it means to truly ‘promote’ a behavior. To do so means to create incentives aligned with that behavior — not just consequences or permission. So far in social media we have seen plenty of stories about companies creating a system of consequences for participation in social media (these stories tended to make headlines in no small part because journalists initially enjoyed pillorying social media that threatened their position as information gatekeepers). More recently we have seen more organizations giving *permission* to participate in social media and even permission for their businesses to become social businesses (eg actually engaging customers through digital social mechanisms). But I don’t know of too many examples yet where organizations have successfully created a system of incentives and recognition for their members/employees/leaders to build a social business. One of the major hurdles I see is that tendency to create perverse incentives that reward *quantity* of participation over quality — and they can lead to astroturfuring, spamming, meaningless contributions etc. This is simply because we *can* measure quanitity of participation pretty easily. My gut says that as we see more sophisticated systems emerge for analyzing, qualifying and tracking … individual participation we will see more organizations create the corresponding incentive and reward systems. Right now, while there is a crowded field of companies (including my own) that provide these services, I think it is a question of a paucity of really good tools to *simply* provide an organization with an analysis of the benefit derived by individuals’ participation. It’s a lot easier at this point to sense and respond to the infractions than it is to grasp the value created. I would love to learn about any examples of great reward and recognition systems….got one?

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