Ideas Generation and Behavioural Insights

Here is the ideas grid I use when working with local authorities to co-produce ways of using behavioural insights. Each effect has a ‘how can we use it?’ challenge; we use it to develop ideas. Some of the ideas generated feel counter-intuitive, some feel run-of-the-mill, some feel like breakthroughs straightaway. We play them back, and pick the ones that feel like the best bets to build into a trial approach.

Behavioural effects are chunked into four main groups:

  • Norm effects: making your target behaviour seem normal
  • Ease effects: making your target behaviour easy
  • Reward effects: increasing the sense of reward for your target behaviour
  • Obligation effects: helping people feel an imperative to choose your target behaviour

Ideas Grid 1

Ideas Grid 2

This is the full list. It’s not an exhaustive list of effects, but if it were any longer, I think it’d be too daunting for staff who are new to the behavioural perspective. In practice, in project workshops, I often use a shorter, more targeted list and grid of effects, reflecting what I’ve learned tends to work best for different contexts. It’s easier for people to use.

If you’re involved in improving public services, feel free to use this grid yourself.

I’ve been using this since 2010, with a few tweaks over the years. This version is taken from the soon-to-be-published Guide To Using Behavioural Insights In Local Government, that I’ve written with Sunderland City Council.

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