Is Work a Game Show?

by Sharlyn Lauby on November 6, 2008

A new favorite show of mine is Cash Cab.  If you haven’t seen this show yet, check it out on The Discovery Channel.  The premise of the show is that unassuming people get into the “Cash Cab” (yes, a real New York taxi cab) and can earn bucks on the way to their destination by answering general knowledge questions.

Now, Mr. Bartender and I consider ourselves to be relatively well-read, so we enjoy trying to answer the questions along with the contestants.  And we’re not a bad team – I’m not great at the biology questions but I do know my music trivia.

The interesting part of the show is when passengers arrive at their destination.  If they arrive having won some cash, they have the chance to go ‘double or nothing’ on a single bonus question.  The interesting part is how people make the decision to go for it or not.

  1. Many people just take the money and run.
  2. Some folks evaluate if they did a good job on the previous questions to determine if they should risk it all.
  3. And, then there are the ones who say “I got in the cab thinking I would pay for the trip…so what have I got to lose.”

It kinda reminds me of work.  We have those people who are just in it for the paycheck.  Then there are the ones who will only exert extra effort when they know they’ll get something.  And lastly, we have the employees who just go for the gusto all day, every day.

Hmmm…if your employees were in the Cash Cab, which option would they choose?  Maybe a better question is … which one would you choose?

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