Driving change

Jul 08 2010

While the lessons of the two Dan’s (Pink and Ariely) are important for all our interpersonal relationships, they are arguably most important when we seek to change behaviour in an organisation.  Change management often involves training programs and workshops which are used to influence and change behaviours (I have run many of these myself).  The following lessons from behavioural economics are critical to success:

1) For creative tasks, financial incentives do not improve performance (and often have a negative impact).

2) Humans value their own creative work more highly than others (what Dan Ariely calls the IKEA effect).  This is not always a bad thing - it means that you can increase feelings of ownership and pride, by involving participants in creating and agreeing to changes.

3) Personal involvement in such a process is inherently motivating. Creating meaningful environments where participants are actively involved in change management will provide much higher levels of motivation than forcing change on them.

Any program which seeks to change behaviour, from huge corporate makeovers to small innovation workshops, will always create greater involvement, engagement and success by focusing on intrinsic motivations before extrinsic rewards.

REFERENCES

Drive by Dan Pink (2010)

The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely (2010)

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