I started my career in the 90s, as an external management consultant who worked on the business process reengineering aspects of large systems integrations. Our clients would spend millions of dollars reengineering the organization, but they often did not implement the changes. My personal experience reflected what research indicated: 80% of change projects fail.
In a dimly lit wine cellar, we turn to our meal. I am at a corporate dinner filled with executives from fascinating backgrounds. But there is one particular conversation, being led by a fascinating gentleman, that is entirely reframing for me what it means to be a leader.
You know you’ve felt it. You want your team passionately engaged about your shared mission, business, project. You want to generate the energy of a start-up fueled on pizza and dreams in a garage. And yet your corporate incentive system falls flat. We got a chance to hear from someone who has dissected exactly why so many incentive programs fail to generate the motivation you need to forge a truly great team: Paul E. White, Ph. D., the coauthor of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Rising Above a Toxic Workplace, and Sync or Swim. Learn from his advice below.