Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Story of a fishermen, a frog and a Snake

It's been a while since i'm focused on reading books that discusses group dynamics, management, productivity and organizational structures. i'm finding so many interesting ideas and frameworks to learn, share and use through my daily tasks in my current job. in one of the ascent books i was reviewing (when i say ascent, i mean written in the 60's) a found an interesting story that talk about rewards in work environment and how it affect negatively as much as positively on the end results. it goes like this:

"A weekend fisherman looked over the side of his boat and saw a snake with a frog in its mouth.  Feeling sorry for the frog, he reached down, gently removed the frog from the snake's mouth and let the frog go free. But now he felt sorry for the hungry snake. Having no food, he took out a flask of bourbon and poured a few drops into the snake's mouth. The snake swam away happy, the frog was happy and the man was happy for having performed such good deeds. He thought all was well until a few minutes passed and he heard something knock against the side of his boat and looked down. With stunned disbelief, the fisherman saw the snake was back with two frogs !"

the drunk snake :-)

The fable carries two important lessons:

  • You get more of the behavior you reward. You don't get what you hope for, ask for, wish for or beg for. You get what you reward. Come what may, you can count on people and creatures to do the things that they believe will benefit them most.

  • In trying to do the right things it's so easy to fall into the trap of rewarding the wrong activities and ignoring or punishing the right ones. The result is that we hope for A, unwittingly reward B and wonder why we get B. 

Remember, bourbon is almost always a very bad reward to give in work environment !! don't you think