Manage Your Practice

It’s Human Nature: Incentivizing Performance


In 1919, New York hotelier Raymond Orteig announced the Orteig Prize: $25,000 to the first aviation team to fly nonstop between New York and Paris.

In 1996, the X Prize, later named the Ansari X Prize for its major benefactors, offered $10 million to the first private, reusable manned spacecraft to fly into space twice within a two week time period.

Of benefit to physician groups is the fact that both the Lindbergh team that won the Orteig Prize, and the Team One team that won the Ansari X prize, budgeted and spent far more than the amount of the prize to win.

So, it wasn’t actually a profit motive — the dollars what would be won — that motivated the contestants to attempt to win.

Yet the mere announcement of the prizes — of the challenge, of the money and of the recognition that would accompany winning — spurred tremendous competition and resulted in the breaking of barriers.

Importantly, consider that before the prizes were announced, there existed similar economic rewards for the group that could accomplish the feat. For example, the technology that would enable private, reusable manned space flight was just as valuable to its owners whether or not there was a prize attached to the initial success of their venture.

That same human drive to win can be harnessed within your medical group and within a hospital.

Find a way to hitch your group’s success to human nature.

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