Charles Morrow’s article, Myths of Management, recounts the “cobra effect” or how reward systems plans do not always produce the expected consequences. During India’s colonial period, Britain sought to rid the continent of cobras. A bounty for dead cobras was instituted with the expectation that the cobras could be either eliminated or substantially reduced. Instead, the opposite happened. Residents started to raise cobras so they could have a steady stream of reward income.
Innovation. The very word conjures breakthrough products, magazine covers, and celebrity status. But those associations are too good to be the whole story. It requires a closer, more balanced, look. Innovation comes at a cost to leaders, teams and the organization.