Friday, 14 January 2011

Getting what you ask for (oh, and it IS a popularity contest)


   I posted earlier this week about one of my submissions for this Summer’s Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston: HR2.0 and the Future of HR (I also posted on some other submissions about Culture and the Social Business on my other blog).

In my HR2.0 post, I also noted that the conference’s selection process – using an enterprise 2.0 system from Spigit -  is something a lot more conferences should use: “It doesn’t guarantee a good conference,but it gets much nearer to this”.  It also establishes a lot of early interest in the conference, which those of you following the #e2conf twitter hashtag will have seen!

Of course, the process is wide open to gaming too (something that can be controlled within an organisation, but not, at least easily, in this sort of application).  And I was interested to see a call from the conference organiser not to treat the process as a popularity contest!

The thing is, it IS a popularity contest.  OK, the selection of presentations will not be down just to the voting, but there clearly is designed to be a link.  That being the case, people will want to get votes, and will take the actions they see fit to support this.

Now, personally, I’ve tried to focus on raising interest in my proposals, rather than directly asking for votes:


 Jon Ingham 
More on my social cultures / outcomes proposals for  -


 Jon Ingham 
RT @ @: Check out HR 2.0 - what it is and how it impacts E2.0. Voting underway! 


Or at least I started off that way, but as this week’s gone on, I’ve turned to my blogs, Linkedin, and the Spigit site as well, to promote my proposals as much as I can.  And of course, this post is also a dressed up request to ask for your VOTE!

And this behaviour is, of course, exactly what the conference organisers should expect!  It’s not about cheapening the process, it’s about getting what you reward.  If you ask for it, you’re going to get it, and shouldn’t be too surprised when you do.

I’ve written in my proposals about the need to get HR involved in Enterprise 2.0 – in this proposal in fact (please vote for it!!! (lol)).  And this is perhaps an example of this requirement.  HR people are used to designing effective compensation schemes to encourage the right behaviours, and ensuring we avoid getting the behaviours we don’t want.

We know in this profession that if we incentivise oil men and women to prioritise exploitation over safety and risk management that the result’s not going to be good.  We know that if we compensate bankers for risk taking they’re going to take actions that will have negative consequences for us all.  We know that paying hospital consultants £1000 for hour hours overtime is going to result in them finding more things to do within the day so that they can do more overtime at night.  Don’t we?

Perhaps not then.

If you reward certain behaviour, that’s going to be the behaviour you’re going to get back.  Why’s that so hard to understand?



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