1. Nudge, a behaviour change theory popularised by American economists that urges policy makers to bring about social change by taking advantage of people’s inertia and desire to do what everyone else is doing.
2. Tribes, a new take on leadership in the world of blogs and social media by Seth Godin, the blogger and entrepreneur.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with these ideas but do they become counter productive when you can see them coming?
I’ve been Nudged
A young man came to my door and tried to nudge me into giving money to a charity for disabled children by a) asking me if I know anyone with a disability b) asking me if I have children or are thinking about having children and c) asking me how much I would like to give a month, bearing in mind most people, including several of my neighbours, give £2. My answer, given politely, could only ever be “I’d like to give you no pounds per month”. I felt sorry for him as I waited for him to finish talking and thought about the enthusiastic policy makers at head office brainstorming his script in a flipcharted room. I forgot all about the children with disabilities.
I’ve been Tribed
I got an invitation via LinkedIn for something announced as a new tribe. I could tell that the person who sent it had read the book ‘Tribes: we need you to lead us’ because she used all the same language. My immediate (if unkind) reaction as I declined the invitation was “I’ll be the judge of that”. I made a mental note to keep an eye on this so-called tribe so I could watch it fail. That’s not very nice is it? I feel ashamed writing it down but that was my immediate response. Not what she intended.
If it’s not real, people will probably see you coming.