domingo, 26 de junho de 2011

The Max Bazerman's lesson

My friend Paulo José has recently arrived from a couple of months top executive program at Harvard Business School. He is absolutely fascinated by Professor Max Bazerman, an world authority in negotiation, decision making and ethics. By coincidence, I've just reading «Drive», a Dan Pink book, where I've found a great insight of Bazerman.

You can list a set of rules in order to employees understand there is an ethical policy, but if the list is only a checklist, the behavior doesn't arises. Here is the valuable example of professor Bazerman:
«Say you take people who are motivated to behave nicely, then give them a fairly weak set of ethical standards to meet. Now, instead of asking them to "do it because it's the right thing to do", you've essentially given them an alternate set of standards - do this so you can check off all these boxes.
Imagine an organization, for example, that believes in affirmative action - one that wants to make the world a better place by creating a more diverse workforce. By reducing ethics to a checklist, suddenly affirmative action is just a bunch of requirements that the organization must meet to show that it isn't discriminating.
Now the organization isn't focused on affirmatively pursuing diversity but rather on making sure that all the boxes are checked off to show that it did is OK (and so it won't get sued). Before, its workers had an intrinsic motivation to do the right thing, but now they have an extrinsic motivation to make sure that the company doesn't get sued or fined.»

So, don't fool yourself, do not even disguise, be truthful and comply with what you write and really want, if you really want, of course.