Applying the Science

The application of behavioural science to your business will –

  • Allow you to assess the current environment and establish why certain, undesired behaviours are occurring.
  • Allow you to adjust the environment to get more of the behaviours that you want, and less of the behaviours that you don’t want.
  • Help you to improve the certainty of results.
  • Help you to predict the probability of procedural compliance.
  • Allow you to improve procedural compliance.

Where should you start?

The achievement of the above items are directly dependent upon the interaction of a person or people who understand behavioural science, with the area of required improvement. Therefore a basic understanding of the application of behavioural science is needed by the person making the improvement.

This can be achieved in two main ways.

Method 1) Train a number of individuals in the basics of behavioural science, its application to people management, improvement and compliance and allow them to work on specific areas requiring improvement.

Method 2) Employ someone who already has this knowledge and can work in the business on the specific areas requiring improvement.

What you need to think about.

A behaviour is ‘What we say or do’. A result is what is produced by a number of behaviours.

  • What do you want more of, what do you want less of?
  • What are your areas of concern?
  • Where do you need to improve certainty within your business?
  • What frustrates you at the moment?
  • What areas continually score low on compliance that you want to improve upon?
  • Where is there current conflict that need to be resolved?
  • What is already good that you want to make even better?

You should also think about how you support the continued use of the techniques in your business. Behavioural science and the techniques that we use work, but they take a little effort and time to apply. Those applying the techniques for change need to be supported in their efforts.

Where would you start?

Many people wish to fix everything all at once. That simply cannot happen for a number of reasons that we could but won’t go into just now. It is best to take a targeted approach to improvement and use behavioural science in controlled pockets.

It is best to start in an area of the business that is already ‘up’ for improving. It is not a good idea to force the use of behavioural science and the techniques we us on those who will be defensive about the need for improvement.

A short video is available here.

Bob Cummins has made a significant contribution to improving safety on the London Underground major station projects. Giles Henday, London Underground