Tried and tested in political marketing/mobilization/campaigning, many times, that ‘intention to vote’ increases the probability of other people voting by several points. Much more than a plead to vote, or other direct call to action, eg… will you vote, please?
In organizations we have a tendency to dismiss ‘intentions’ as something weak. And they are, if they were to stay like that. But numerous Behavioural Economic ‘experiments’ show that the declaration of intentions, visible and with good social copying possibilities in front (e.g. the neighbourhood in political campaigning) is very strong in pulling behaviours.
The practical translation in organizational terms is the leader switching from ‘we need to do X, X is good for you/us’ to ‘ I am going to do X (what about you?)
Indicating clearly upfront what one plans to do (and doing it) may pull more behavioural weight than more traditional managerial ‘guidelines’ of what you/we need to do.
So, I am shortening the meetings to 30 minutes; I am answering the questionnaire that we were sent; I am taking one of the 5 things that were left in limbo, are far stronger than we should have shorter meetings; we need to answer the questionnaire that we were sent; somebody needs to address (or the most frequent ‘so, who is going to do X?’) the things that were left in limbo.
Easy! Change gears.
As usual, behavioural insights come from somewhere other than a business school.
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