By December 29, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Rewarding compliance

SlotBack when I worked in information security, risk management and privacy, there was always talk about sanctions for non-compliance of security policies and protocols. Programs were developed and security officers appointed to enforce the rules in large projects. It was a negative-incentive program and because of the high-profile nature of the projects, violators often heard about their mis-deeds several times from several individuals. Think of the scene in Office Space when Peter Gibbons hears from several managers about not putting the new cover sheet on his TPS reports.

I tried, and failed, to get decision makers to implement a program which would reward compliance and showcase the high-performers to the rest of the teams and organizations in consortium projects. My theory was a negative incentive is just as likely to encourage people to disguise their mis-deeds as it is to motivate compliance. A reward program would encourage people to promote their compliance and perhaps even compete for the crown of best-achievers.

I was reminded of that last night when I saw a report of Canmore, Alberta preparing to implement a lottery for drivers caught driving the speed limit on photo radar. The program allocates a small portion of collected fines to a monthly lottery for a $250 gift certificate to the drawn winner’s choice of local business. Everyone wins! People are encouraged to drive the speed limit (rather than not drive over it), the roads become safer, someone wins some money and the local economy is given a shot in the arm.

As proven here, this type of creative program can be applied in nearly any situation: information security, law enforcement and even communication.

After posting the Canmore story to Facebook, Shawn MacDonell shared the following video with me:

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About the Author:

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist and President of FullDuplex.ca, an integrated digital communications, public affairs and research company. His work focuses on the role of digital tools and culture on issues and reputation management. He also leads research into how Canadian opinions are shaped through online content and interactions.