When my children were still in primary school, I once let my English stiff upper lip slacken and asked them whether I had ever said how much I loved them. "Yes," responded my truculent son, "but not with money."
I am reminded of his precocious attempt to persuade me to apply hard cash to a soft problem every time I hear about efforts to use monetary bonuses to encourage executives to hit non-financial goals.
Reduced emissions, safer factories, better gender balance: Companies everywhere are enshrining such creditable objectives as "key performance indicators," putting a price on the target, and letting greed take care of the rest.
"I think we've got to do more to tie the outcomes to compensation, so that it's meaningful and it's real," declared Alexis Herman, a former U.S. labor secretary and Coca-Cola board member, at the recent Women's Forum for the Economy & Society in Paris, discussing how businesses can become more "human."