One of the most colorful examples from the book is the uselessness of a “sandwich.” A criticism “between” two positive messages does not do much beyond confusing the employee and generally sending a negative message. Better approach is two separate messages, one positive and one negative, separated in time.
Positive reinforcement should be frequent and come after the desired behavior. “Employee of the month” and other types of infrequent phrase are not as effective in reinforcing desired behavior.
Interesting “management by objective” critique
A company promoted one person to the position of the plant manager and the plant improved… Then the company moved this person to a different plant, and the new plant also improved. Then, the company brought the person to the larger plant and discovered that there was no improvement and the person himself seemed to be disorganized. The company asked the book’s author why would it be, have something happened with the person? The author asked what exactly the person did to improve first two plants, but the company did not know… Maybe the person did exactly the same with the third plant? Sometimes improvements happen independently from actions.
Interesting point about team structure
Team structure is not needed for teamwork. Team is not always better than an individual – if the team has one expert, the team structure could just dilute the work of the expert. However, teamwork is effective, and required reinforcement of cooperative, rather than competitive behavior.