Ben Granlund | Behavior Matters!

Author: Ben Granlund Page 1 of 5

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Accomplish your goals & achieve your dreams: Brain/Shift

Two years ago, my wife was looking for a new type of Journaling experience. She wanted something beyond just blank pages, something that could help guide her thoughts and prompt new ideas.

She went online in search of it and found an elegantly designed journal with millions of sales and thousands of positive reviews. She ordered it and started using it every day. The opening pages were filled with insightful explanations into the power of gratitude, the power of journaling, and much more.

She was excited. She dove in and used it daily.

But after a few weeks I noticed it was sitting in a corner, no longer being used. Although she really enjoyed it at first, her journaling went from daily to intermittent to none. I asked her what had changed, and she said, “it’s always the same, it was great at first, but I can’t answer the same three questions every day forever”.

A light went off.

A few weeks later in one of our team meetings I brought it up for discussion. We had started 100 Behaviors as a vessel to merge the academic with the practical and to create products that could help people build better habits, achieve goals, and improve their lives. We had been yearning to create something deep and meaningful and here was our opportunity.

There were so many ideas bottled up inside us from both our consulting work at The Lantern Group and the hundreds of interviews we have conducted with researchers and practitioners around the world at Behavioral Grooves. We were sitting on a wealth of research that could bring the positive powers of behavioral science to the mainstream consumer world – we just needed that spark, and here it was.

We realized there was a gap in the market – while there were countless personal journals out there, almost all of them follow similar patterns. They offer catchy names and some upfront insights before leading into empty repetition with little challenges or barriers for goal achievement and real meaningful change.

We decided to fill this gap by developing a personal guided journal that goes deeper, is fueled by science, and is actionable, challenging, and rewarding.

We aimed to “remove the fluff” and pull down the barriers – to reduce the friction that often inhibits goal adherence and success.

We did some market research to see if it already existed and, to our knowledge, it didn’t. So, we jumped in headfirst and started brainstorming, writing, and designing. We quickly realized that one of the reasons almost every other journal repeats daily is because… that’s a lot less content you need create.

But we were committed to doing it right even if it was a bigger bite to chew than we anticipated. While there can be power in repetition (e.g., the mere exposure effect), if it is inhibiting long-term adherence then it’s not getting the job done. To achieve what we hoped for, it meant that each day and each week had to provide something unique and interesting, something actionable and scientific, and it needed to be both embedded with and backed by science.  

After many, many months, and LOTS of iterations we finally landed on a direction – a weekly guided journal that isn’t just a journal, it’s a journey – a journey that starts with setting goals and then hands you the tools to incrementally work toward achieving those goals while coaching you through the process of doing so. A journal designed by behavioral scientists, that taps into your underlying human drives, biases, habits, and behaviors to help you reach your goals and achieve your dreams.

A journal that utilizes psychological principles including priming, goal-activation, commitment devices, habit formation, and gratitude. A resource to break out of the status quo and jump into the driver’s seat to your future success.

And now – after countless hours of research, meetings, writing and creative sessions, late nights and “what are we doings?”, pilot studies, fulfillment challenges, re-brands, re-designs, and re-writes, we finally got it right!

We are excited to introduce you to “The Brain/Shift Journal – Volume 1”. It’s challenging, rewarding, and effective. Order yours today.

Dive in and you will harness the power of behavioral science to improve your life in just 5-minutes a day. 

But don’t just take out word for it, here’s your peers are saying about Brain/Shift

Brain/Shift is the tool that I needed but didn’t know existed! I’ve used planners and journals for years – but this one is different – it makes it so easy to focus on the things that are important.” ~ Tim H., Charlotte, NC

“I love the focus on proven behavioral insights to gently guide you through your own personal goals. Brain/Shift is a fresh, new approach to working towards your long-term wellbeing!” ~ Mary K., London, UK

“I love that it Brain/Shift teaches me Behavioral Science while setting and achieving my goals. The journal is a great tool to help me to identify my goals and the simple daily action steps needed to drive me toward achieving those goals!”  ~ Dean S., Minneapolis, MN

“In short, I love this journal. I had a new year’s resolution to develop a meditation practice that didn’t stick, in part because I wanted something more tangible. This journal is that tangible opportunity that I needed to move the needle in my habits and be more mindful. It’s honestly one of my favorite parts of the day, to challenge myself and be more thoughtful on how I want to show up today.” ~ Richard R., Minneapolis, MN

“I love how this journal not only allows me to express my thoughts in varying ways (writing, drawing, doodling, etc), but also challenges me to think differently. The thought provoking cues, quotes and questions encourage me to think outside the box in a way I normally wouldn’t. After 2 weeks of use, I already can feel a positive difference in my everyday outlook & mood, and I look forward to writing in it every morning.” ~ Lauren S., Boulder, CO

Thankful for Growth, Science, and Reciprocity

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays.

Scrabble letters on a block saying thank you

It brings great food and an opportunity to connect back with family and friends (something more important than ever these days), and it is also a day where we can reflect back on and give thanks for all the good that has happened over the past year.

Thinking of the Lantern Group, we have a lot to be thankful for.

2021 was a tough year for many people. The pandemic caused and continues to bring challenges and difficulties that make many people’s lives harder and more uncertain. There is a lot of political and social unrest – creating more stress and a breakdown of lots of social norms that we’ve had over the years (let’s have more conversation like this). Businesses have had to face with increased prices and challenges with finding workers and their supply chain woes.

So, there is a bit of dissonance when we look back at our year so far. Despite the challenges we are grateful that we’ve been able to grow, expand our offerings, and work on some really cool projects this year with new partners and new clients.

In many ways, our growth is a testament to how important it is to make work more human, to truly create environments that suffice the needs of the people that make up the workforce – not just the business they represent.

It’s a testament to the power of understanding “why we do what we do”. We hope that our growth is also a sign of the new frontier in how organizations understand and treat their people.

With that, we are truly grateful for the year we are having.

Our communication work continues to thrive with a huge increase in the number of clients and the types of communications that we are working on. We started this year working on one of the largest IC communications projects we’ve ever had – with over 100 interactive plan documents that integrated customized plan information, payout calculators, and whiteboard videos into one, interactive graphical document! The results were amazing with the reception by the sales team saying this was the best IC rollout ever. 

We were also honored to be named the internal communication agency of record for the US division of a global pharmaceutical company, where we’ve had the opportunity to craft their monthly webinars, write the speeches and e-mails from the president, as well as work on their IC plan communication.

Beyond that we’ve also extended our video offerings, creating not just white board videos, but longer training videos, hybrid white-board and live videos, talking personalized avatars, and long format story videos designed to showcase and build positive culture.

In addition to our communication work, we’ve also grown in our consulting work. We were one of the founding members of Diversifi, the largest network of applied behavioral consultancies in the world, with over 250 behavioral scientists, in over 18 companies across the globe. 

This work has led to some amazing projects utilizing behavioral science to better understand and improve the online subscription process for a large news organization as well as training the European division of a pharmaceutical company on how behavioral science can be integrated into their everyday work. 

We’ve are also very grateful for the work we did in conjunction with Tim Houlihan on Leading Human® – which is a comprehensive Playbook and accompanying workbook that can help guide leaders on how to be more human centric and drive greater performance in these uncertain times. This collaboration highlights the integration of Kurt’s work with Behavioral Grooves into the Lantern Group. The insights that we’ve gained from talking with over 200 researchers and practitioners shows in the breadth and depth of the solutions that we can provide.

With that, Behavioral Grooves has also grown tremendously this past year, more than tripling monthly downloads with special series on context, anxiety at work, and conspiracy theories to name just a few of the new and exciting things we are doing there.

Join the movement and follow along here.

These experiences have also brought opportunities to present at conferences and inside organizations. We started the year by co-hosting the Nudge.It.North conference with over 200 participants and some of the greatest behavioral scientists and practitioners in the world – including Annie Duke, John Bargh, Gary Latham and Robert Cialdini to name a few.  Kurt has also been honored to speak at several industry and company conferences – with the latest version taking him to Doha, Qatar to moderate and speak at the BX Arabia conference. 

We are truly grateful for all the support and encouragement from you and the rest of our network. It has been an inspirational year that has us humbled and honored to be in the position that we are in.

It is with sincere gratitude that we will sit down at the Thanksgiving table this year and raise our glasses to all of you helping us have the year that we’ve had. Thank you!

Ben and Kurt

And with reciprocity in mind, – as always, we would be happy to talk to any of you about your challenges that you are facing.

Scary Biases 2.0 – Navigating Bias in the Workforce

As fall sets on rapidly in the northern hemisphere, and some of us start to carve pumpkins for Halloween, pick apples, watch the leaves turn, and lay awake at night in fear of Michael Myers… we need to remember that there are some even scarier, less tangible things out there to be aware of.

Creepy hands climbing over a cliff covered in grass
Bias can be the hidden killer of business

Yes, we are talking about human biases.

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Leaders! Build a better team by creating a Team Charter

Two people putting post it notes on a wall in a conference room

As much as we are experiencing a health crisis right now, we are also experiencing a people crisis. Changes in how we view work and the new expectations mean that the future of work needs to look a lot more “human” than it has in the past.

To thrive through these challenges, leaders must make changes to how their teams operate and interact. Culture and productivity go hand in hand and team dynamics are at the center of it all.

One highly effective tool in making this happen is to work with your team to develop what is known as a Team Charter. A Team Charter is one of the four tenets of Leading Human™ – a systematic approach to help leaders deal with burnout, resignations, and the complications of COVID in the workplace.

What is a Team Charter?

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Secure Your Future by “Leading Human”

Woman sitting at computer working with laundry basket on the desk next to her

Building a Positive Workplace that Deals Effectively with Today’s Stresses

Caroline slumps in her chair, stares out her kitchen window, and wonders how it came to this. She looks down at the e-mail from her boss and shakes her head thinking, “She doesn’t understand.”  

The kids are arguing in the background… something about whose turn it was to take out the dog. Looking around the kitchen, she notices that the dishes from last night’s dinner are still in the sink, unwashed. In fact, the whole house is a mess, clothes lying where the kids dropped them, the half-done puzzle pieces litter the table, dirt tracks from the dog across the floor, mail is strewn about the countertop, unopened. The only part of the house that is reasonably orderly, she realizes, is the part right behind her, the part that is seen in the background of her Zoom calls.

She frowns. 

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Has COVID-19 Permanently Changed “How We Work?”

Woman sitting down with two other people looking concerned
Companies need to be cognizant of the complex emotional factors impacting =the new normal

Welcome to the new working world.

Your team is split – some people are coming into the office, some are staying virtual, and even more are taking a hybrid approach. 

You have new silos in the organization – not around job functions, but around political beliefs. 

Employees are demanding to have a better work-life balance – they don’t want to work 50+ hours and miss their kid’s soccer game or their workout routine. They are burnt out from the pandemic. Many realize that they like some of the benefits of working from home, yet they miss the camaraderie and connections they get by being in person. Expectations have shifted and they expect you to be able to provide them with the best of both worlds or they probably won’t stick around. 

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Back to In-person Work Requires a New Type of Leadership

Cover page of the leading human playbook and workbook. Woman looking forward and smiling with graphics and text
The Leading Human Package is Today’s Essential Guide to Help Leaders Navigate the Next Year

At the time of this writing we’re hovering around a 50% vaccination rate for adults in the US. 

As the progress continues, companies are looking forward to the time when they can start bringing more of their employees back into the office.  This forward-thinking has focused a lot on the physical building design and safety protocols but is often missing a key aspect of the return to work: their employees’ emotional wellbeing.  

While many companies have started to bring people back slowly, there has not been a rush except for aside from essential businesses where it has been required. The new normal will probably look nothing like the old normal.   

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Returning to Work is More Emotional Than We Might Think

Distressed employee looking at his computer with his head in his hand
Companies that fail to address return to work concerns will see large rates of employee attrition

We are in a unique time right now in the US.

With vaccines readily available and cases of COVID-19 falling, companies are looking to bring people back into the office or install a hybrid model of work that allows flexibility. 

This shift brings with it a lot of opportunity but also exposes some larger potential downsides.

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Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy With Behavioral Science

Smiling woman getting a vaccine form a  nurse
Behavioral Science Principles That can Reduce Vaccine Hesitancy

According to recent polls, the number of Americans who are unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccine has recently dropped to around 1 in 5 Americans (Monmouth University Poll, 4/14/21). This is significantly down from prior polls but still has a large segment of our population resisting a way to end this pandemic, save lives, and get our economy rolling again. 

So where is the hesitancy coming from?

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Experience Matters: Helping Companies Communicate More Effectively

Girl with glasses sitting at her desk looking board with her chin on her hand
Good Communication is Key to Engagement

Numerous companies have a difficult time building engagement and trust with their employees. 

The problem doesn’t always have to do with their processes or procedures or even management behaviors –in many cases it has to do with how they communicate to their employees. In over 20 years of helping companies solve these issues, we’ve found that companies often don’t communicate with their employees in a way that helps them understand and buy-in to the very programs that are designed to engage them.  

While some companies have significantly improved their ability to create professional-looking presentations and graphically appealing brochures, they still have not fully embraced bringing a behavioral science approach to their internal communications to communicate in a more human way.

This is where we help. 

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