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How would it feel to understand what people think?

How would it feel like for you to understand what people think? To be able to act upon what your client or employees do not dare to express.

Think about the value of understanding what your customers think and need (both not always being coherent), about working in a highly effective team, or fostering an increased collaboration ...

Most organisations are comprised of groups of people working or "inter-acting" together. Most work activities aim at behavioural change (collaboration, sale of new services, etc.) or decision-making (in what innovation to invest? close that plant?). It is therefore surprising that organisations, businesses or non-profits, take that long to embrace behavioural science in their day-to-day.

Yet there are few areas in corporate life that are immune to the insights that behavioural science has to offer and its adoption can offer significant opportunities for more effective and creative decision-making. It clearly has shown and will increasingly do so that it raises efficiency and severely improves results. In fact, I dare to predict that in 10 years from now, systems thinking & behavioural psychology will be common. 

HR professionals are the ones more open to inputs and/or methodologies rooted in behaviour, focusing on understanding and improving the "way of working" or "organisational culture". But it is in core-business related activities, where understanding behaviour and needs can yield the biggest added value in the short or medium term.

For example:

A client called us in while building a new IT platform for its customers. With a request: "Can you help us transform the organisation in sync with tool?". After having talked to about 20 customers, we understood that customers did not want the tool to change, apart from a few bugs that had been there for years. The needed more dialogue, whereas the client was busy automating and loosing the last bit of appreciated value. Surprisingly, some of these arguments were known internally, but no action was taken to solve them. Research has demonstrated when decisions are made in large groups, people are more inclined to seek evidence that supports existing opinions as "it is too risky to think different". So, we largely revised the IT-plan, and worked on changing behaviours ...

How do you include behavioural psychology in your day-to-day ? Many techniques start to get known - design thinking, systems thinking, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Psychology) ... Mostly they all aim at one thing: built in processes that stimulate awareness around "how and why people think and behave" and consequently on "how decisions are made". 

We chose to focus on analysing the 'explicits' and 'implicit' in a given situation to prepare for upcoming decisions. Each specific situation, when correctly read, which requires certain skills, can lead us to prepare well.

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