Q&A: Corporate Culture - July 2018 Seminar


During the Brains, Waves, and Automated Machines seminar (24th July 2018), attendees were able to submit their burning questions to the speakers. Not all questions could be answered during the seminar. We went back to the speakers for their responses to some of the unanswered questions.


Speaker: Benjamin Buckby (Corporate Culture)

In this article, Ben from Corporate Culture answers additional questions posed by members during the seminar, related to their talk titled, From Optimising to Satisficing: Lessons, Implications, and Applications of Ever-Advancing Behavioural Science


1. Can you offer some behavioural economic tips to help nudge our stakeholders into accepting behavioural economics as a valuable tool?

Firstly, I would re-frame behavioural economics and refer to it as behavioural science – proven insights from across neuroscience, behavioural economics, evolutionary psychology, sociology and other academic fields that give us a more accurate and true understanding of human decision-making. ‘Science’ engenders feelings of confidence, trust and proveness, which should make it an easier sell. Also, what is the cost to stakeholders of not accepting behavioural science as a valuable tool – continuing to ignore the hidden influences, cognitive biases and heuristics that affect every day decision-making (consumers, customers and employees alike) and design products and services that work against – not with – the realities of human nature!? You could also use some social proofing and show/reassure stakeholders how behavioural science has been used elsewhere to increase effectiveness. So in summary, re-frame it as a science and a loss (rather than gain) of not using the latest behavioural thinking and add some social proofing for good measure. Hope this helps! 


2. Can you briefly explain the nudge theory?

In short, ‘nudging’ (also known as choice architecture) is the idea that subtle changes in the context and framing of a choice or decision can have disproportionately big effects on people’s behaviour. Unlike regulation, enforcement or coercion, nudges do not restrict people’s choice and are designed to make it easier for people to make better decisions that are in their own best interests – what is known as libertarian paternalism. For example, putting fruit at eye level counts as a nudge. Banning junk food does not. 


3. What would be your top 3 books we should all read to inspire us on this topic?

As an introduction and inspiration to the ever-advancing field of behavioural sciences, I would definitely recommend the following three books as a starting point: (1) ‘Drunk Tank Pink’ by Adam Alter; (2) ‘Predictably Irrational’ by Dan Ariely; and (3) ‘Nudge’ by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. And for something more recently published, I would suggest picking up a copy of the highly accessible and entertaining ‘The Choice Factory’ by Richard Shotton.


Corporate Culture

For more informtion, contact Benjamin Buckby at Corporate Culture