Lean Blog Interviews — 57: Alfie Kohn, “Punished by Rewards”

My guest for LeanBlog Podcast #57 is Alfie Kohn, an author and lecturer in the fields of education, parenting, and human behavior. His books include Punished By Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes and The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing. I reached out to Alfie after there was some very good discussion on the blog about Chicago Public Schools giving incentive payments to high school students earning A’s, B’s, and C’s. Many of the arguments that Alfie makes are reminiscent of Dr. W. Edwards Deming and can be applied, more generally, to many organization settings where rewards and incentives are used. I hope you find this interesting and thought provoking. If anything, the Dr. Deming fans will want to listen to the end of the Podcast where Alfie does a dead-on impression of Dr. Deming. To read more articles, Alfie’s website is http://www.alfiekohn.org/ . For earlier episodes, visit the main Podcast page at www.leanpodcast.org, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS or via Apple iTunes. The podcast is available there in MP3 or AAC formats.