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The carrot and the stick metaphor is one that is used widely to display Reward and Punishment as two methods in order to ensure productivity. The thought is simple, in order to get a mule to move on a farm, there are two ways. You can dangle a carrot in front of it and have it move towards the carrot, and when it has done its task it gets the carrot as a reward. Alternatively, you can hit it with a stick when it stops and by following behind the mule with a stick it will be inclined to keep moving.

Translated into modern business, this can be explained with a sales team. Make more sales and you will get a cash bonus (this is the carrot), or make less sales than your quota and you will be, in extreme cases fired (that being the stick). You can see this exemplified in David Mamet’s play, Glengarry Glen Ross (popularized by the film with Alec Baldwin and Al Pacino). If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you do. This is a bit of a spoiler, so skip the next paragraph if you don’t want to hear more.

In the story, a sales team isn’t meeting their quota, so Alec Baldwin comes in to fix it. He offers a new Cadillac to the top seller and says that the lowest seller of that month will be fired. The salesmen get vicious and turn on each other. It gets to a point where they are even damaging the work of their colleagues who are now seen as their competitors. This “incentive” not only put a serious weight on the sales team, but that weight impaired them and stopped them from doing their job right.

This article is inspired by a Daniel Pink video I saw on Hubspot’s blog. The video speaks about the danger of the “carrot and stick” method. Studies have proven that for simple, mechanical tasks (say doing dishes, for example) this method works perfectly. However, for anything more complex, for anything that requires a minimum amount of creativity and free thinking this method actually hinders productivity! Employees perform far worse than they would without this incentive. It may be counter-intuitive, but the secret is to let go. Giving your creative team freedom without pressuring them with monetary gains is the best possible thing you can do.

Here is the video explaining all of this and more, in detail. Enjoy!

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Promoposte is a great advertising tool for local businesses

 

Promoposte is an Eastern Townships company in business since 2007 whose mission is to offer its customers an advertising tool that will allow them to be seen by as many people as possible through the mass distribution of the Promoposte brochure. You probably had the opportunity to take a look at this brochure after receiving it in your mail.

Promoposte Logo

Promoposte’s new website allows you, among other things, to take a look at the monthly brochure, download special offers and sign up for a variety of contests organized by the company’s clients.

Check it out!

Promoposte’s Website

Getting into Social Media with your business? Good!

Checking your accounts for activity and posting regularly? Awesome!

But are you keeping an eye out for what everyone else is saying about your business online? If you are fortunate this will be a difficult task because everyone is talking about your restaurants delicious falafel or your company’s incredible service and product.

The trouble is that we are drops of water in the ocean of the internet. There is so much data and now with social media there are literally hundreds of millions people talking at the same time and it is next to impossible to keep track of what they are saying about you. There are ways however, to get a bit of an idea.

A great way is to use Yelp. Yelp is a social media site for reviewing everything from car rental to small “mom and pop” shops. If you have a business, odds are somebody has reviewed it on Yelp. This site offers an incredible insight into the mind of your consumers. You can see what parts they liked and what parts they didn’t and can help pinpoint the places in your business that could use work or that need to be accented. Naturally, the sites content depends solely on the people, so it works far better inside major cities and places with a larger population.

Otherwise there are plenty of free and paid reputation trackers online that comb social media sites and blogs for mentions of your company, allowing you to see what people are saying. This puts you in a position to directly address a complaint or share a praising post. Trackers like Google Alerts and Buzzlogic are quite popular for this.

When your source material is internet reviewers, take everything with a grain of salt. When it comes to reviews, they are written as though what they are reviewing is either the best in the world or the worst thing that ever happened to them. It’s the internet, people embellish exaggerate and over-dramatize all the time. Try to sift out what useful information you can. These tools can help you cut off bad reputation at the source and help you spread around your praises as they come.

As anybody living in the 21st century will tell you, the internet is a very odd place. As businesses, all we can do is adapt to the people we serve as best as possible. We go where they go, and today they are all on social networking. Who knows where they will be tomorrow? One thing is certain though, wherever they are, clever entrepreneurs will be right behind them with their various wares in hand. Good luck!

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