Hearing Dr Clare Craig citing research of what sounds like physicist Christine Padgham reminded me of the ‘weekend effect’. A stark example of which can be seen with 2013 British government-run health outcomes. Chances of dying from an operation at the weekend of 82% dwarf those of croaking on a Monday, of only 7%. Even if the better statistical comparison is with a Friday, that’s still a huge 44%. Six-and-a-half times worse. Yikes.
It seems that a similar effect is at play in many walks of life.
Here we have laboratory tests.
Imagine this finding from coronavirus antibody testing of swabs from Scottish labs being the norm.
Broadcast 27 October 2020;
“There’s one piece of data here that really unlocks this problem. [Of] the percentage of positive results published … the positive rate is twice as high at the weekends than it is on a Monday.
That is a problem with the laboratories. That is not a problem with disease. If it’s day of the week it’s got to be something with the laboratories.
What happens with a laboratory, is at the weekend, you have fewer staff, you have problems of all the week have built up.
On a Monday morning people come in fresh faced. They’ve had a bit of a rest. They clean the lab. And the rate comes right down.”
Now imagine that effect in train with those you seek to persuade.
There is an oft-quoted ‘fact’ that the moment when people’s work-week can actually start is really Eleven o’clock Tuesday morning. The theory being it takes the preceding time to attend your weekly kick-off ‘huddle’, firefight the urgent list your boss has dreamt up over the weekend, and clear your own previous week’s in-tray.
If we want to gain commitment, then when is our best time to schedule the slot to seal it?
Perhaps buyers really are more attuned to clarity of thought on a Monday?
Many a vendor might steer clear of elbowing themselves onto calendars for the start of the week. Yet I always liked to arrange sales calls for Monday first-thing.
For one, it meant I could escape any ritualistic waste of time get-together back at base.
But in many cases, prospects were grateful to get the week running with something not only potentially constructive, but also offering them the maximum span to make or enact plans from afterwards.
And the momentum that can stutter after a Friday afternoon meeting, no matter how fizzing, can be quite startling come the beginning of the next week.
So perhaps the message is simply to get those prospect juices flowing as early as you can.
Just like ‘Monday’s child’. With no buyer able to resist a Monday proposal so ‘fair of face’.