3 December 2009

Only in it for the money?!

John Carlisle, Cooperation Works

Following the calamity brought upon us by the (mis) operation of the banking system the size of bonuses paid to the money-changers is a regular news headline these days. Just last week the US government ordered companies bailed out with tax-payers’ dollars to make swingeing cuts in boardroom pay. Although this plan is expected to affect just 157 individuals it still came with a handy loophole allowing the companies to make “exceptions where necessary to retain talent”. So for some high-flying financiers at least the faith in the bonus system lives on, apparently unquestioned as the best way to get the best out of a limited pool of talent. Many jobs of course, even within the banking industry, do not come with the incentive of bonus payments on top of the hourly rate or weekly wage.

With the aid of Deming’s Profound Knowledge and case studies, John Carlisle invited us to explore how our own assumptions (yes, us!) have allowed the growth of incentive systems, and why the banks are particularly vulnerable. He finished with a joint exploration of what we need to do to begin to change the system.

About the speaker

Many of you will need no introduction to John who now chairs the Alliance of Deming Consultants. For those less familiar with his work and his message of productive co-operation, the long list of organisations that have called on his world-renowned expertise on partnering during his long career includes British Rail, British Nuclear Group, Hong Kong Metro, De Beers and many public bodies in the UK and Australia. He is the author, with Bob Parker, of the authoritative book “Beyond Negotiation” and Visiting Professor at Sheffield Hallam University’s Faculty of Organisation and Management.

What participants said

“More time – I could have listened to John all day. Truly inspirational!”

“Perhaps a touch more on Deming’s thinking that made him so opposed to bonuses and appraisal – but it was an excellent session so this is a minor point.”

“The insight into bank bonus culture was very interesting and thought provoking. Not 100% relevent to my particular work, however there were parallels and linked issues. Glad I attended.”

“The topic and meeting process were well managed, enabled delegates to discuss the questions posed on their tables and provided sharing of insights.”


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