OK, it's a catchy title meant to hook you, but follow my logic. I started thinking about this possibility while reading articles on CEOs' pay and the role of incentives in Harvard Business Review. I then wondered if the ideas held validity in schools.
W. Edward Deming famously declared that "pay is not a motivator". (He also said "Forces of Destruction: grades in school, merit system, incentive pay, business plans, quotas.")
Dan Pink went further in "Drive" by saying "The best use of money as a motivator is to pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table: Pay people enough so that they’re not thinking about money and they’re thinking about the work. Once you do that, it turns out there are three factors that the science shows lead to better performance, not to mention personal satisfaction: autonomy, mastery, and purpose."
However, is it possible to pay people so much that the potential LOSS of their high salary puts money back on the table?
In other words, if they are paid above market value, do they fear losing that incredible salary?
- Would you become risk-averse?
- Would you aim to maintain, rather than start something new?
- Would you manage rather than lead?
- More school trips to support the curriculum ("get real").
- Measure what matters rather than old-fashioned testing.
- Give more real power to students.
How could risk-aversion affect decision-making?
- Fewer trips (what if something went wrong?)
- More standard tests so all students are tested at the same time in the same way and parents will not complain.
- Student council rewarded for toeing the line.
Until next week.