On another blog I shared with you an example of the Ripple Effect looking at Home Depot and the school system.  Today we are going to examine the difference in THINKING required in order to get to the root cause of a problem and it’s ripple effect so you can solve the right thing.

When Rudy Guiliani became Mayor of New York City he wanted to tackle the welfare system and make some changes.  He felt that there should be more people in jobs that were available and less people on welfare but he wasn’t sure how to make the change he needed.

As he listened and thought from a different perspective what he noticed was that the welfare workers were rewarded by how they processed someone through the welfare system.  This meant their thinking and training was on how to explain all the benefits, how to ensure all family members got on it and how to make sure the person used all the benefits available to them.  Notice what wasn’t present- no discussion on how to get a job and get off of welfare.

So Guiliani switched their thinking by switching how they were rewarded.  He told them they would be rewarded by how many people they got a job so they could get off of welfare.  This meant the welfare workers had to change their dialogue from how to use the system to how to get off the system and gain independence.

The result? Traditionally New York had 100,000 people move off of welfare in 5 years and into a job.  When Guiliani switched the thinking, they moved a whopping 500,000 people off of welfare and into jobs in just 5 years.

So here is your take action: What are you rewarding in your company?  Your employees will work toward what they are rewarded for even if it means you will be put out of business.

So make sure your rewards align with the thinking you desire which will automatically create the action or behavior you desire.