Once you realize that the average person makes 35,000 decisions a day, it makes total sense that habits drive 95% of our behavior. Otherwise, we’d become paralyzed with analysis paralysis in trying to choose what to do next. As Melina Palmer fully recognizes, behavioral economic principles help to unlock the mystery of why people do things that seem so confounding. How could it be, for instance, that giving the gift of two mints with your check in the restaurant can lead to a 14% increase in the average tip for the waiter? Well, gratitude—the principle of reciprocity—weighs in. From the difference between satisfaction and delight to what the peak/end rule can make a small business more prosper if used well, this is both a fun and meaningful episode.
Melina Palmer is the founder and CEO of the Brainy Business and hosts the podcast by that same name. She received a Masters in behavior economics from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, teaches at the Texas A&M Human Behavior Lab, and writes a column for Inc. magazine [NBN logo]
Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book available on Amazon is Emotionomics 2.0: The Emotional Dynamics Underlying Key Business Goals.
Want to know the challenges bedeviling NATO as it seeks to arm Ukraine? This week’s guest is as good a source as any, given how much the combination of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine have put the focus on procurement. An area normally the “corporate equivalent of being sent to Siberia” (to quote this book) has now moved front-and-center. Triplat and the other three colleagues at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) who collaborated on Profit from the Source emphasize the need not just to save costs, but for companies and their suppliers to join forces to optimize the innovation process together. Right now the average CEO spends no more than about 5% of his or her time on the procurement process. Since over 50% of a company’s expenditures involve suppliers, clearly a realignment of priorities is overdue.
For this week’s guest Greg Hoffman, the characteristics of empathy and curiosity are central to everything from finding your place in the world, to connecting with others, to building a brand that exhibits a true sense of purpose by empowering people to realize their potential. Along the way, this episode also explores both the value and limits of data-driven marketing takes on the central role of smartphones today, and goes back into Hoffman’s own backstory as a mixed-race child growing up in a nearly all-white suburb of Minneapolis. In art and sports, Hoffman found a path forward.
Greg Hoffman is a global brand leader, advisor, speaker, and former Nike Chief Marketing Office. He’s now the founder and principal of the brand advisory group Modern Arena as well as a branding instructor at the University of Oregon’s Lundquist School of Business and a member of the Board of Trustees at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).
What’s your default listening mode? Are you a pivoter, a distractor, a withdrawer, an explorer or, like today’s guest, an innate problem-solver trying to find a solution to whatever is troubling the person you’re having a conversation with? Three different kinds of difficult conversations get covered here: 1) an imbalance-of-power conversation between a boss and a subordinate; 2) a competitive-conversation between divorced parents navigating childcare; and 3) a regressive-conversation where an elderly parent and child can easily fall into character roles they played decades ago. In each case, Ximena Vengoechea offers sound, sympathetic advice on how to steer clear of the usual pitfalls.
Ximena Vengoechea is a user researcher, writer, and illustrator whose work on personal and professional development has been published in Inc., The Washington Post, Newsweek, Fast Company, and elsewhere. Her career has included positions at Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Have you ever seen the TED talk video on YouTube where Capuchin monkeys get enraged when some receive cucumbers and other monkeys more delicious grapes for completing the same task? Welcome to the inequality basis, whereby a lack of fairness drives all of us crazy. Whether it’s a matter of employees getting different pay for the same job, or consumers feeling like some people get better deals than others, feelings of injustice may not be clearly articulated but can—and will–most definitely drive our behavior. How similar is what people say and how they feel? Not much, says my guest this week. Richard Chataway estimates that, in fact, verbal input may at best get you 50% of the way to understanding how somebody might actually behave. Other topics covered in this episode include why inspiring disgust helped an anti-smoking campaign Chataway worked on do so well, and how Hilton Hotels leveraged the use of the Big Five personality model to increase clicks and shares online.
Richard Chataway is the CEO of BVA Nudge Consulting UK and the founder of the Communication Science Group. Clients have included: Lloyds Banking Group, Google, and IKEA. He’s also a former board member of the Association of Business Psychology in the UK.
Brain teasers invite you; in contrast, brain embarrassers are songs listeners can’t get a handle on readily enough, causing them to give up and move on to another song. That contrast is but one of the many fine distinctions Mike Errico makes in this engaging, whimsical-and-yet-serious book about the art of crafting music. This episode spans a range from what constitutes a mission song (which lay out the story of the artist, e.g. Bruce Springsteen’s wanderlust), to what kind of flavor gets created depending on whether the melody starts on, before, or after the downbeat. Let’s take as Mike does some famous Beatles songs as a point of reference. Melodies that start on the downbeat feel authoritative (“Yesterday”). Melodies that start before the downbeat feel urgent, with the singer taking control (“She Loves You”). And those that follow the downbeat feel conversational (“All You Need Is Love”). Want to know about the Four Quadrants of Trust? That’s another reason to give this episode a listen.
Mike Errico is a New York-based record artist, writer, and lecturing professor at universities including Yale, Wesleyan, and NYU. Besides international touring, Mike has had his opinions and insights appear in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and elsewhere.
What sometimes gets overlooked is that Adam Smith not only became the “father of capitalism” by writing The Wealth of Nations; he also wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Empathy matters, and this week’s guest Morris Altman argues that sustainable capitalism practices fairness. Too often the basic economic needs of rank-and-file workers are overlooked in a global economic where the wealthy call the shots. From anti-immigrant rhetoric to events in Ukraine, this is a timely episode that subjects the purported move from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism to skeptical examination. Want more engaged workers? To achieve that goal, make them more truly empowered, with their input acted on and rewarded alike.
Morris Altman is the Dean of the University of Dundee’s School of Business. He’s published over 130 referred papers and 17 books. He’s also held academic posts at the University of Saskatchewan, Victoria University, Newcastle University, and at Hebrew University, Stanford, Cornell and Duke.
Who welcomes change? Basically, nobody – except maybe a baby with a dirty diaper! Behavioral science is an umbrella term that covers the realms of social psychology, behavioral economics, and sociology among other fields. As applied in business or government, behavioral science is often a matter of creating small “nudges” in designing changes to human behavior in hopes of achieving buy-in rather than resistance from those who are wedded to the status quo. Khan and Newman, who co-edited and contributed to this book, are candid about the challenges involved in enacting real change in organizations. Without executive buy-in, and a few quick wins to placate the doubters, the odds of enacting change get pretty long. For more tips, listen in as In this episode focuses on a pair of behavioral science applications relevant to business: running human resources (HR), and promoting innovation.
Released today: episode #102 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Zarak Khan and Laurel Newman, discussing Building Behavioral Science in an Organization. Click this link to get to the new episode.
Zarak Khan is a Senior Behavioral Researcher at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight, as well as a Behavioral Science Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and a board member of Action Design Network. Lauren Newman is a behavioral scientist at Edward Jones, and a former psychology professor at Fontbonne University.
Covid-19 has drastically changed the workplace, causing “essential workers” to contemplate what they essentially want from their jobs over and above decent pay and benefits. High on their list of priorities is gaining greater autonomy, an opportunity to learn, and to achieve a sense of purpose on the job. As this week’s guest explains, cast aside, therefore, workplace myths such as the following: that the employee experience (EX) is about perks, that HR “owns it” alone, that attracting and retaining employees covers the bases so far as EX is concerned, and that EX applies only to privileged, high-end employees working remotely as opposed to on the frontlines or in warehouses. EX can’t wait because EX is happening everyday – whether in good, bad or ugly ways.
First impressions really do matter, and the merger and acquisition (M&A) deals that receive a positive reaction on Announcement Day tend to outperform, over time, those deals where due diligence wasn’t practiced up front. Indeed, as Mark Sirower notes, in two-thirds of cases a negative initial reception is a sign that the deal will never gain momentum. What leads to success? Among the key elements is focusing on the employee experience. Smart companies get “ahead of the pain” by acknowledging that during M&A activity workers will have moved from the highest rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (self-realization) to fearing for their material well-being, their security, i.e., the lowest, most basic rung of the ladder. In short, at a time of vast, globalized M&A deal-making, emotional intelligence has never been more important as companies navigate the emotional earthquake most employees are going to experience.
Mark L. Sirower is a leader in Deloitte’s M&A and Restructuring practice and was, previously, a global M&A leader at the Boston Consulting Group. He teaches M&A at the NYU Stern School of Business and has also authored The Synergy Trap prior to partnering with Jeffery M. Weirens on this latest book.