Change comes from the outside.
Over at Mashable, Aaron Orendorff has a great piece on behavior economics, so he obviously talks about my favorite expert on the subject, Dan Ariely:
Not to be a killjoy, but as the Washington Post found, roughly 25% of New Year resolutions fall apart within the first two weeks. And even when it comes to our work — where money’s on the line — “70% of [management-led] transformation efforts fail.”
So what works?
“Change,” in Ariely’s words, “comes not from the inside, but the outside. If you want people to lose weight, give them a smaller plate. You have to change the environment.”
This is why free market capitalism can be so dangerous and detrimental. If you have zero intervention from the government and just let the market decide everything, you’re ensuring the rich get richer, or to use the example above, you’re encouraging people to eat as much as they can.
We need to establish a fair environment because we can’t be trusted to be fair on our own. Remember, we’re just monkeys with iPhones.
I just started Ariely’s newest book, Payoff, and it’s great.