There was an excellent article in a recent issue of Business Week which addressed the issue of well-intentioned but misguided managers (are you listening medical practice administrator?) who are sinking their employers because they don't understand the science of human behavior. Boy is this sure true (and that is why I’m a solo practitioner – I certainly couldn’t figure it out and really didn’t want to!). The following is a brief excerpt from the article with a link to the full article. If you are in managing people, read it:
With executives under fire for driving their companies into the ground—and taking the economy with them—it's time for a managerial paradigm shift that focuses on the root of all booms and busts: individual behavior. Many time-honored management practices, such as layoffs, yearend bonuses, and automatic pay raises, actually reward employees' bad habits and punish good behavior, often with devastating results.
These practices stem from theories of performance that have little to do with the science of learning. As such, they result in many mistakes initiated by senior leadership at great cost. They're endorsed for the best of reasons but fail to lead to the desired result.
So why do so many organizations continue to embrace faulty practices? My 30 years of experience with Corporate America have led me to believe most business leaders are trained in the math of balance sheets, not the science of human behavior. They don't understand that you can't change organizational behavior without changing human behavior. Only when managers understand the basic principles of behavioral science and apply them skillfully will they realize the full potential of their employees and their organizations.