Friday 23 September 2011

Becoming a Platinum Member of My Own Rewards Program

Over the past five months, I have received tremendous encouragement from friends and family. It has helped me stay on course through the twists and turns of doing something new. Just yesterday, I received an incredible note from someone I haven't seen in eight years. He said, "...keep on with your passions. Know you have people cheering you on from the sidelines. Be sure to leverage those people on the sidelines when you feel a need for perspective..." What a powerful message and kind gesture - I will reread it often.

I realize, however, that I need to take accountability for my motivation. Motivation is inspired from outside but built from within. I must be my number one cheerleader. I must be responsible for fanning the flames of my passion and ambition.

Rewards are an important element of any change project. Whether for celebrating milestones achieved or acknowledging the hard work of the team - rewards matter. This is contrary to an article I read recently. The author said you must be wary of rewards and to use them selectively. On the surface, this partly makes sense. They should be used to reward specific events or behaviours and not handed out without merit. What I don't see is the implied caution in using them. It reminds me of a quote from the early 90s TV show 'Twin Peaks.' Kyle Maclachlan says, "Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it, don't wait for it. Just let it happen." Everyday seems a bit much, however the spirit feels right.

I only have witnessed two situations where rewards and recognition were not motivating. The first was in a unionized manufacturing environment when the individual was teased for being positively recognized. The second was when someone didn't like the reward she had been given: "What am I going to do with a utility knife?" Every other situation left people feeling appreciated and recharged. 

If rewards are an important part of change project management, then why shouldn't it be an important part of a project to write a book on change management? I need to build them into my work plan so I can celebrate milestones achieved and acknowledge hard work.  I must build my own rewards program of which I am a platinum member.

The two rewards I have planned are a new technical t-shirt for my first marathon in October, and the CD and DVD of  A-ha's final concert. They may not be on your list of rewards but they definitely have me excited. Now, I must keep doing the work that will earn them.



  1. Wow, does that technical T come with the six pack? Phil you're so right on the rewards point. So much so that I believe a great reward is a coffee with me, on you, next Friday. That's something to work hard for! Have a great week of planning and writing!

  2. I am rewarding myself by not buying Aha's final album... each to their own mate...

  3. As I posted that I remembered that one of the first singles I ever bought was Aha's 'Take on Me'

  4. We all remember Aha - but I always thought the issue with them is that many of the singles in isolation were amazing, but heard together they all start to sound the same?!
    Seriously though Phil - love the blog - I've been reading through it this evening - hope we keep your 'voice' in the book as I think 'the way that you tell it' is as important as the message itself.
    Good luck!