Leadership NudgeTM – Evaluate the Environment
In the subway system in Stockholm you will find a set of stairs next to an escalator. As you can imagine most people take the escalator and not the stairs. Why not? Using the escalator will deliver you to the same location as using the stairs. It requires less energy. Everybody else is using the stairs.
One organization thought beyond those things. They recognized that if people used the stairs, it would be better for them. They could have posted signs telling people to use the stairs instead of the escalator. Or they could have put a poster up encouraging people to choose the stairs. We all know how effective signs and posters are at changing behavior.
Instead, they focused on changing the environment. They asked, “what could be done to make using the stairs more inviting than using the escalator?” The answer was to make the stairs more fun. The stairs are now piano keys and they play notes when pedestrians walk on them. The result is 66% more people than normal now choose to use the stairs instead of the escalator. That’s a pretty good change in behavior if you ask us. When encouraging behavior change in your team, don’t look for ways to “fix” them. Look instead for ways to make the environment support the desired behaviors.
Our leadership nudge to you this week is this:
Pass out index cards to your team and ask them for feedback on at least one thing they would change about the work environment. . .and then act on one of them.
Let us know how it goes!
Enroll for the Leadership Nudge – www.davidmarquet.com