I’m not sure, and I think someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall it was Ronald Reagan who said “It’s the economy, stupid” (yes I’m too lazy this morning to google it….). Reagan’s point from my perspective, was that it was so blindingly obvious that the financial situation matters that it was worth calling people stupid if they weren’t understanding it. Basically, it meant that people who didn’t get it, would say they did, just to not get called stupid.
Yesterday afternoon I was struck that in my workplace it’s about incentives. Some wonderful people in my workplace are being told they aren’t good enough because they haven’t met the perverse markers in the performance structure because they publish in books not journals, or the edit journals and books instead of authoring or they contribute actively to the community around them with their research instead of the formalised educational structures. They are also innovative teachers. So, they are basically being punished for not being in an ivory tower and being innovative teachers.
People talk about incentives for workforces all the time, and yet, they do not understand the behaviour it engenders. They are stupid pretending to understand so as not to be left out. But seriously, when effective staff members start to leave in droves, all I can say is, “It’s the incentives, stupid.”