Punishing Failure vs. Rewarding Success

November 17, 2016 Comments Off on Punishing Failure vs. Rewarding Success

The No Child Left Behind Act essentially punished failure.

Data was collected from every school, universal standards were established, schools that didn’t meet the standards had to follow a step by step plan to get back on track. Failure to follow the plan caused an escalating scale of punishments until control of the school was passed on to someone else.

Race to the Top essentially rewarded success.

States competed to win prize money in multiple areas based upon a points ranking system. Those that gained the biggest improvement were granted additional funding. The goal was to let the best and most innovative ideas rise naturally.

This isn’t a political post.

Every day you set incentives for your members. You can reward success or punish failure. Punishing (or motivating) those that fail is inclusive but can also be demotivating. Rewarding success can drive innovation but can kill collaboration. Those who don’t feel they can win often (and did) decide not to participate at all.

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