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Friday, October 09, 2009

Doing things anyways.

Last week at the Online Community Summit, a presenter shared a somewhat garbled Robert Sutton quote that intrigued me. What I heard was "A successful prize gets people to do what they want to do anyway." What I took away was that successful prize gives permission to act.

I was interested enough that I tracked down the actual Robert Sutton quote: “a successful prize gets people to do what they want to do anyways—it just helps them to do it more successfully.”

There are several directions here that are interesting.
  • Prize as push to do what you want to do.
  • Prize as push to take an action you would have anyway within a certain timeframe.
  • Prize as permission to act at all.
  • Prize as incentive to do what you want to do anyways.
  • Prize as reason to prioritize one single action among many actions you want to take.
  • And finally, the meaning that was possibly originally intended: prize as incentive to act--but with a wrapper of other elements that make you (or your action) more successful.
What are you trying to get people to do? Why?

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