How small change can lead to big behavioural change

By Jon Ainger and Steve Martin | 16 September 2014

It’s often said that the big problems leaders of councils’ face, such as turning around a failing service or responding to increased demand with dwindling resources, require commensurately-sized solutions.

But that’s not always the case.  At least not when a significant part of the challenge can be solved using a set of relatively small modifications that influence changes in behaviours rather than in systems and processes.

Emerging behavioural science has identified a variety of such small changes to standard practices that have the capacity to make a real difference. And while it would be naïve to suggest that one can jettison traditional methods in place of small, behaviourally informed changes, there can be no doubting the big impact that these small changes can have.

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