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Incentives


If you want to understand people, look at what are their incentives. The world is designed(rather somehow evolved) in such a way that everyone is working towards maximizing their incentives. If you understand the incentive for people, you get a better understanding of their behavior and motivation. For example, if a farmer would get awarded a reward based on the quantity rather than the quality of crops that he produces, he would try to maximize quantity without focusing on quality. Another crude example which you might have noticed in India is if there is no incentive(saving fine money) for following traffic rules, people won’t follow rules. In a corporate context, employees will work on tasks for which they are being measured/evaluated. Without changing the reward system, people’s behavior doesn’t get changed. Make sure your expectations from employees and their reward system match.