#TBT: The Carrot and the Stick on Steroids


I haven't done a Throwback Thursday in a while, but here's a new one.

I was reminded of an article I wrote for LinkedIn back in 2013:

The Carrot and The Stick “On Steroids”

The article begins:

There are a few cliché expressions that I've heard a lot of recently at healthcare conferences. Some of these clichés really need to be retired, including the phrases “carrot and the stick” and “on steroids.”

I thought of this post as I was reading a book written by Marcus Hammarberg, Salvation: The Bungsu Story: How Lean and Kanban saved a small hospital in Indonesia. Twice. And can help you reshape work in your company.

In the book, he talked about the Indonesian hospital's culture being extremely hierarchical, with most communication and ideas going in just one direction — from the top down. I'm never surprised that a hierarchical culture leads to staff appearing disengaged and unmotivated. So, then, managers resort to “the carrot or the stick,” meaning rewards or punishment.

But, as I wrote about on LinkedIn, that's not the origin of the phrase.

I also recorded a podcast with Marcus about his story and his book, which will be available soon.

Anyway, here is my new Lean Blog Audio podcast recording of this post:

And, again, a link to the article:

Thanks for checking it out.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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