4 Ways To Make Change Happen

Nudge co-author Cass Sunstein gave a twenty-minute distillation at Nudgestock 2020 of How Change Happens.

He lists a quartet of factors that when in your favour, enable change to take hold.

Without going into the full behavioural science, here I rather try and suggest how each one applies to a solution bid.

Each provide ideas to generate prospect-side activity through and around your normal campaign go-tos.

Preference Falsification

Do buyers always tell you exactly what they think? Er, no. Whilst the yin “all buyers are liars” has an obvious equally disparaging seller yang, it seems people are simply wary of openly stating how they really feel towards your proposal. In public they say one thing. The thing that they think everyone else wants to hear, or what they intuit the consensus to be. No matter how opposite or wide of the mark this might be. The key, it appears, is to get them on their own, talking with someone they feel they can trust. Who asks, “what you said back there surprised me, is that how you really feel?” Invariably, with conditions right, they confide a different view.

Diverse Threshold

Some people will dive straight in. Without worry of consequence. They instinctively have a feel for what is ‘right’. They back themselves regardless. Who cares what others think. They may be alone, yet they are definitely first-movers. And they will take someone with them. Identifying this initial followership will help any movement your way you spot gather its early momentum.

Social Interactions

There are those that not don’t move first, but not second either. They need to feel the safety of a community building to join. Getting these to know of and talk to those of similar thinking brings them into play.


Lastly, the echo chamber effect where people with lightly held or moderate views will, when exposed to a group basically sharing these, will end up all becoming hardened in that stance. This works both ways. Buyers set against you will coalesce into firmer detractors should you allow them to group together. Yet you may be able to influence such individuals with central, almost ambivalent views by generating meetings where they gather with your most ardent supporters.

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