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The Art of the Science Behind qChange: A Nudge

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

Utilizing Nudge Theory to Prompt Better Leader Behavior: Part 1 of 4

Nudge theory was named and popularized by the 2008 book, 'Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness', written by American academics Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein.

Nudge theory is a flexible and modern concept for:

· Understanding of how people think, make decisions, and behave,

· Helping people improve their thinking and decisions,

· Managing change of all sorts, and

· Identifying and modifying existing unhelpful influences on people.

OK, great, so what’s a nudge?

Thaler (and by the way in 2017 he won a Nobel Prize in Economics) defines a nudge as any small feature in the environment that attracts our attention and alters our behavior. A nudge helps people make better choices for themselves without restricting their freedom of choice.

There can be many different types of nudges…sharing the facts, implementing a rule, using a system reminder, priming before the event, and changing the default option. All have successfully helped improve behavior, both inside and outside of the workplace.

At qChange, we’re particularly keen on the idea of using nudges to prime right before the event. The event for us is the workplace meeting.

So how do we do this?

We leverage nudge theory to help make leaders better in meetings, so meetings are better. The first step in our patent pending Leader Experience cycle starts with a nudge. Using A.I., we read the leader’s calendar and deliver a very relevant nudge right before the meeting to the leader. This nudge is based on a number of factors, but one of the most important is the type of meeting. For example, if the leader is in a morning one-on-one meeting with a direct report, the leader will receive a nudge focused on something relevant to the meeting, such as Coaching for Success. Then, if in an afternoon meeting focused on defining a strategy, the system will flex and provide a nudge focused on a relevant area such as Thinking Strategically. As you might expect, over nudging can cause mental fatigue, so our A.I. optimizes nudge effectiveness by limiting the number of nudges to twice a day, and ten a week.

Within qChange we have over 900 unique nudges available to provide to the leader in the flow of work, so she can be more mindful of her behavior, and be a better leader in that meeting. To see more (nudge, nudge):

John Howes, Ph.D.,

Chief Leader Experience Officer

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