Often managers assume their people to be ‘the problem’. It is natural, therefore, to seek ‘people solutions’, for example:

• motivational events
• training / education / communications
• appraisal / ‘talent’ management
• rewards and incentives

Such solutions, though plausible, usually achieve little and sometimes make things worse.

People’s performance is governed by the system. The observable ‘people problems’ are symptoms. The causes are in the system.