“If you reward effort you get results.
If you reward results, you don’t get effort.”
– DeBono, 2005
We all celebrate the wins.
One company I worked for kept a big hand bell and someone walked (or ran) through the halls, ringing it, when we heard that we had won the contract. It was a great moment.
Then we all went back to the trudge-trudge of our work on the current proposal.
I’ve only ever seen one company that really got what DeBono was saying – not that they were perfect managers, but they understood this truth:
If you reward effort, you get results.
The time to express appreciation for the often extraordinary effort that proposal teams put in is at the time, or just after the proposal goes in – not when the contract is announced. After all, a 1 in 3 hit rate is excellent, so rewarding only the winners ignores the work that 2 out of 3 teams has done.