The art of nudging
This week's Tuesday Reading - "The Art of Nudging: Helping People Make Better Choices is Mark Hanna's reflection on the book "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness" by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago.
Hanna notes that within each of our brains exists a conscious, reflective function - which is slow and analytical and represents conscious thought - and an unconscious, automatic function - which is rapid and intuitive and represents our "gut feelings." For most of the day (some research says over 50%) we operate on autopilot and so rely on "gut reactions" or in our language on the many deeply ingrained habits - instinctive behaviors - we each have.
In most instances, this works well. However, in some instances an individual's instinctive behaviors prevents that individual from even considering something that is new or different. Think, for example, of a client being offered a new service or a new way of accessing a current service. The authors' research indicates that quite often a simple change in the "choice architecture" will "nudge" an individual towards the better choice. In one referenced study, the order of food placement in a cafeteria was studied. What they found was that it was possible to change food consumption of many food items by as much as 25% by just rearranging the food placement.
So, the question, how much does the way we present options to our clients affect the choices they make? And, how can we so structure our services to provide nudges so that our clients make service choices that permit us to gain greater client satisfaction as well as deploy our resources more effectively?
I hope that you'll give this some thought in the coming weeks.
. . . . . . jim