Within the last year, we started baking cookies in our restaurant.  One day I walked through the kitchen and noticed that the cookies looked very over done and some of the cookies were missing on the tray.

Perplexed, I asked a team member what had happened.  I was told that the cookies were burnt and unable to be sold thus the team members decided that it would be a good idea to eat the cookies so they wouldn’t be wasted.

Over the next couple of weeks, this started becoming a reoccurring theme.  Burning cookies seemed to be happening almost every other day.

As I started thinking about why we were burning so many cookies, it occurred to me that there was actually an incentive for burning cookies.  Burning cookies = eating free cookies.

From here a new policy was set: Burn the cookies: pay for the cookies.  

Interesting enough, they stopped burning cookies.

Thus the Burnt Cookie Principle was formed.  It’s as simple as this: 

People will stop burning cookies, when they have to pay for them.

You can insert almost anything in the blank and see a positive effect take place. 

When you attach someone’s actions or performance to his or her pocketbook, things change.