Behavior Matters! | Harnessing the power of behavioral science to improve how organizations, leaders, and people work

Announcing the “Nudge it North” Conference

Start the new year off right by joining us in January at the Nudge it North Conference – a digital Behavioral Science conference taking place on January 8th, 2021.

Join us at www.nudgeitnorth.com

The Lantern Group, Behavioral Grooves, Behave MN have collaborated to bring together an all-star cast of speakers that includes industry veterans, world-renowned experts, and amazing new voices in the field.

Keynotes are:

Robert Cialdini, PhD New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today Best-Selling author of “Influence” and “Persuasion”. If you are familiar with the field, this guest needs no introduction.

Annie Duke – Author, speaker, and among the earliest women to earn a World Series of Poker bracelet, Annie now uses those same insights as a reversed decision strategist.

Gary Latham – The co-founder of Goal Setting Theory, Gary has been teaching and researching motivation and goal setting-strategies for close to 20 years. His work on priming – the unconscious influences that guide our decisions – has been acclaimed and his research will leave you amazed at how humans are motivated.

Dr. John Bargh – Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science, and Professor of Management, Ph.D., 1981, University of Michigan. The ACME lab researches the unconscious or implicit influences on social judgment, motivation, and behavior.

In addition to our keynotes, hear amazing insights from: Johnathan Mann, Amy Bucher PhD, Scott Jeffrey PhD,  Brad Shuck PhD, Charlotte Blank, Jez Groom, Prince Ghuman, Jim Gusczca, Dr. Ruben Kline, Aline Holzwarth, and Dr. Christina Gravert!

So, kick off the year right and come join us! Register here, enjoy exclusive early pricing until December 10th – get them before they are gone!

Engage your reps with stories, anticipation, and graphic recall

Presentation on a laptop on a table with hands and text

Telling your “incentive story” with video creates greater engagement, higher recall, and an overall increase in IC plan knowledge.  

If you’ve seen the Academy Award-winning movie, Schindler’s List, at the mention of the girl in the red coat, you can probably recall the specific scene I’m referring to vividly. This singular scene often stands out as the most revered and remembered scene in the movie. If you have not seen the movie, it is a black and white film yet in this specific scene there is a little girl walking through a crowded ghetto in a red coat.  

Little girl stands out in a red coat amongst a crowd of black and white soldiers
“The Girl in the Red Coat” is a fantastic example of vivid visual storytelling

Her red coat stands out vividly in comparison to the black and white coloring of the rest of the film. It captures our attention and draws our eyes to focus our attention on her. We follow her among the throngs of people and watch as she comes in and out of our view.  

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Incentives + Behavioral Science + Communications = A Home Run for IC Directors

Incentive compensation professionals work hard at developing incentive plans that drive employee motivation while also meeting their company’s strategic objectives. In the past, this has been achieved by using rules of thumb and stringent financial analysis. 

Yet, hard work is not enough in today’s turbulent times.  

Man leaning back in chair behind computer looking up at motivational words looking satisfied
Create a Great IC Program AND Make Sure it is Understood

Today, compensation professionals need to add a few more tools to their tool belt. 

Specifically, they need to add a deeper understanding of behavioral science and communication strategy. A great incentive program can be a defining factor in an organization’s success but as the world evolves additional measures are needed to ensure that it is resonating with and being understood by the field. Adding behavioral science into the mix can significantly improve your program’s impact and the performance of your teams. Tie these principles together with award-winning communication and you have a home run.  

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Sculpting Motivation – Maximizing your Total Rewards with Behavioral Science

This article highlights the key learnings from Kurt’s presentation at the “2020 World at Work Spotlight on Sales Conference”. The original slide deck is available below.

Man screaming into phone exhibiting bad sales behavior
Rewards Programs are a Key Driver of Sales Behavior

In 1937, paleontologist Gustav von Koeningswald was working on the island of Java in Southeast Asia, searching for new evidence of our early human ancestors.  To achieve this goal, he needed to find fossils, and the apex of fossils was the skull. With an intact skull, paleontologists are better able to distinguish between ape and human. 

But skulls were rarely are found intact. 

Instead, paleontologists needed to piece together a multitude of small skull fragments in a complex 3D puzzle.  It was difficult work – difficult to find all the pieces and difficult to fit them together in the right way to reform the original skull. 

To help alieve the burden of searching and finding the skull pieces, von Koeningswald enlisted the help of people from the local village.  He did this by giving them an incentive. He paid them 10 cents per skull fragment that they delivered to him.   

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Understand Your Brain – Better Decisions, Improved Habits, Happiness & More!

In a continued effort to make behavioral science and behavioral economics more accessible, The Lantern Group and The Behavioral Grooves Podcast are building resources to help you make more informed decisions, understand your influences (and how you influence), understand biases, improve happiness, build better habits and more. This includes a self assessment to help decide which behavioral science or behavioral economics book to read and The 100 Behaviors Project – a weekly exploration of human biases and behaviors. Check them both out below.

Behavioral Learning Self-Assessment

The self-assessment below combines 30+ years of collective experience in behavioral science to help you determine which of our top 40 books will be the most beneficial to you. Take it now and start (or continue) learning! If you have already read the recommendation, reach out in the form below or email behavior@lanterngroup.com with your result and we will recommend 2 or 3 alternates!

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Identifying Friction in Your Organization

Friction is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the force that resists relative motion between two bodies in contact” or “the clashing between two parties of opposed views.”   

Identifying Organizational Friction
Organizational Friction

In our last article, we identified three types of organizational friction (the resistance points within a company that limit its performance). Those friction points were caused by oversight or shortcomings in Policy, Culture, and Environment. Each type of organizational friction has its own unique root causes and manifests itself differently within a company.

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Podcast Mania!

As the popularity of the Behavioral Grooves podcast continues to skyrocket, cohost Kurt Nelson, PHD – President and founder of The Lantern Group – has been featured across the airwaves (podwaves?) on an exciting and growing list of podcasts of all shapes and sizes.

Emotions, Performance, Motivation, Culture, Running and more all involve Behavioral Science

Below is a list of the most recent features with a quick blurb about the subject. There are lots of fun conversations here, so check them out and give one (or all) a listen and share!

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Is Organizational Friction Costing you Money?

Organizational friction is not a common term, yet it could be one of the biggest reasons that your company is not performing to its full potential.

How much is friction costing you?

Friction in human terms is the unnecessary resistance that a person encounters when trying to achieve a task. Organizational friction is the resistance created by policy, social, or environmental factors within a company.

Bad organization friction creates unnecessary resistance within an organization and impedes performance. It causes wasted time, wasted energy wasted resources, and overall frustration. Good organizational friction creates positive resistance that discourages negative behavior, sloppy thinking or risky shortcuts. 

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How to Shape Company Culture Through Communication

Words matter.

A study conducted by Gary Latham PhD, replaced 12 words in an e-mail from a company president to his employees to demonstrate the power of word choice.

 A Powerful Reinforcement Loop With a Common Thread
A Powerful Reinforcement Loop With a Common Thread

Half of the company received the president’s original e-mail and half of the company received the same e-mail with 12 achievement-focused words added in. The result? After a week, objectively measured performance showed an increase in effectiveness by 15% and efficiency by 35% for the employees who received the achievement centric email.

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Good Prime – Bad Prime

Priming, in relation to human behavior, is the idea that exposure to an external stimulus can subconsciously trigger our brains to drive specific behaviors.

messaging and communicating

A study in Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow” examined how a simple word could prime the brain to think differently in a similar situation. Subjects were exposed to one of two words and then shown the letters “SO_P” and asked to fill in the blank.

People who were exposed to the word “eat” prior to the exercise were more likely to fill in the letter “U” (SOUP), and those exposed to the word “shower” were more like to fill in the letter “A” (SOAP).

In this situation, the first word they were exposed to impacted their interpretation of the blank letter and completed word. This is a simple example, but priming can also cause us to unconsciously engage in behaviors both good and bad.

Let’s looks at some examples in the real world. 

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