Hey friends 👋,
Choice is fundamental to human experiences, shaping our behaviours and influencing our daily lives.
When implementing innovation, the choices people make becomes crucial for success because individuals often resist change, making it challenging to alter deeply ingrained behaviours.
This is where choice architecture and nudges come into play. By strategically designing environments and providing subtle nudges, we can influence individuals to make better decisions that foster innovation.
Cass Sunstein (co-author of Nudge) explains nudging in this McKinsey article, “Really, any situation where you’re making a choice has an architecture to it. The owner of a website may put certain things in a very large font – the things that the private or public institution really wants you to attend to and maybe choose – and keep certain things hidden in small print at the bottom.”
“A nudge is an intervention that maintains freedom of choice but steers people in a particular direction. A tax isn’t a nudge. A subsidy isn’t a nudge. A mandate isn’t a nudge. And a ban isn’t a nudge. A warning is a nudge: “If you swim at this beach, the current is high and might be dangerous.” You’re being nudged not to swim, but you can. When you’re given information about the number of fat calories in a cheeseburger, that is a nudge.”
Nudges should embody these three principles:
- Nudges should be transparent and never misleading.
- It should be very easy to opt out of the nudge, ideally with as little effort as possible.
- It should be reasonable to believe that the behavior being encouraged will improve the welfare of those being nudged.
Today, we’ll explore the art of influencing choices and how it facilitates innovation implementation. And discover two useful frameworks for changing behaviours.
🤔 Imagine This...
In a stagnant corporate office, employees resisted change. The leaders employed choice architecture and nudges to cultivate a culture of innovation.
They simplified the suggestion system, making it easy for employees to share ideas. Engaging infographics highlighted the benefits of innovation, capturing attention and prompting consideration.
Recognising the power of social influence, the organisation implemented recognition programs, celebrating innovative achievements (and those that failed) and inspiring others to follow suit.
Timely reminders and follow-up sessions ensured innovation stayed a priority. Regular prompts kept the momentum going.
The results were transformative. Employees embraced change, leading to a surge of innovative ideas and increased success.
Let’s dive in to how to to change behaviour with these two frameworks.
🧠 The EAST Framework
The EAST Framework, developed by the Behavioral Insights Team, offers a practical approach to designing effective nudges for behaviour change.
1) Make it Easy:
Simplifying the adoption of desired behaviours increases the likelihood of implementation. For instance, organisations can create user-friendly platforms where employees can easily share creative ideas or suggestions.
Organisations nudge employees towards embracing innovation by reducing barriers, streamlining the process, or using defaults and simple action-orientated messaging.
2) Make it Attractive:
Engagingly presenting choices encourages innovation implementation. Instead of lengthy memos, organisations can use visually appealing infographics to highlight the benefits and potential outcomes of embracing innovation.
Organisations nudge employees towards being more receptive to preferred choices by visually captivating the message.
3) Make it Social:
Leveraging social influence is a powerful nudge. Organisations can implement recognition programs that celebrate employees who generate ideas and successfully implement innovative ideas.
By highlighting these individuals as role models, organisations nudge others to follow suit and contribute to a culture of innovation.
4) Make it Timely:
Timing plays a crucial role in behaviour change. Organisations can nudge individuals towards making preferred choices by providing timely reminders or prompts.
For example, periodic email reminders and follow-up sessions can keep initiatives in employees’ minds, nudging them towards action.
🚀 The SWITCH Framework
The SWITCH Framework, proposed by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, provides a three-pronged approach to change behaviour.
1) Direct the Rider:
Usually what appears as resistance is often a lack of clarity. So, provide clarity about what is required and why.
The analytical ‘rider’ wants to focus on problems and can get stuck in that mode of thinking, gathering true but useless information.
To change behaviour, clear direction and guidance are essential. For example, organisations can provide employees with critical step on incorporating new practices into their daily work routines.
By removing ambiguity and giving clear instructions, organisations nudge individuals towards making choices that support change.
2) Motivate the Elephant:
When it looks like people are being lazy, it is often exhaustion. People can only self-control for so long. So, create a desire to change.
Tapping into individuals’ intrinsic motivation is crucial. Organisations can create a sense of purpose by emphasising how innovation positively impacts customers or society.
By connecting innovation efforts to meaningful causes, organisations nudge employees towards embracing change.
3) Shape the Path:
What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem. So, alter their environment to make it easier to change.
Organisations should shape the path to facilitate implementation and make it easier to choose the desired behaviours.
This could involve creating a supportive environment, providing necessary resources, and removing barriers.
Want to learn more? Here’s a must read article.
⚡️ The Short of It
Changing behaviours and fostering successful implementation requires a nuanced approach. The art of changing choices lies in strategic choice architecture and using nudges.
By designing decision-making environments that promote preferred options and providing subtle cues, organisations can encourage individuals to make choices aligned with their innovation goals.
Give these two useful behaviour change frameworks a go:
The EAST Framework’s principles of making behaviour easy, attractive, social and timely.
And the SWITCH Framework concepts of directing the rider, motivating the elephant and shaping the path.