In a recent interview on The Business of Giving, renowned economist Uri Gneezy shared his insights on the power of incentives in shaping behavior and driving engagement in nonprofit organizations. Drawing from his book, “Mixed Signals: How Incentives Really Work,” Gneezy emphasized the importance of understanding incentives beyond financial rewards and aligning them with organizational values. He highlighted the need to avoid common pitfalls, such as sending mixed signals, and instead incorporate common sense into incentive program design. Gneezy also discussed the significance of self-signaling and social signaling in influencing behavior, offering practical examples and strategies. By leveraging these insights, nonprofits can effectively inspire giving, foster collaboration, and maximize their potential for meaningful change.
Incentives send powerful signals that aim to influence behavior, but often there’s a conflict between what we say and what we do in response to these incentives. The result, mixed signals. And that is the title of my next guest’s new book. He is Uri Gneezy, a professor of Economics and Strategy and Chair in Behavioral Economics at UC, San Diego Rady School of Management, and author of Mixed Signals: How Incentives Really Work.