Blog & Resources

This is the place where you can find our blogposts, and the articles that inspired us on Behavioural Design.

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27/09/2021

SUE | SWAC Tool© explained

Changing behaviour is challenging but certainly not impossible. With the right tools in your Behavioural Design toolbox, you can leverage the power of behavioural science to shape positive behaviours and...

30/07/2021

The SUE Influence Framework© explained

The SUE | Influence Framework© is a powerful mental model we developed at SUE to analyse the forces that shape behaviour systematically. The framework will provide you with all the...

17/04/2020

The Behavioural Design Blog – overview

With this Behavioural Design Overview we want to help you to navigate through the Behavioural Design Blog. Our ambition with this blog is to explore how influence works by applying...

23/09/2022

Workers are massively firing their employers.

Currently, 67% of all salaried employees in The Netherlands are considering changing employers. Combine that with abundant job vacancies, and you realise that organisations face a huge behavioural challenge. After...

16/08/2022

How obstacles are key for innovation

I am continually fascinated to discover the importance of behavioural economics in solving the significant challenges of our time: eradicating disease and tackling climate change. After reading an interview with...

31/05/2022

5 problems with traditional user research and how Behavioural Design solves them

Product, Service and Experience Designers often complain that they lack killer insights into their users. They often feel flooded with insights to the extent that they have no idea where...

25/05/2022

Comparison isn’t always the thief of joy

In this week's video, Astrid Groenewegen explains how comparison can also be positive. We often look at the negative sides of comparing ourselves to others. Other people seem to always...

12/05/2022

How to fight your mobile phone addiction

In this week's video, Astrid Groenewegen gives you 2 practical tips from behavioral science to fight addiction to your phone. How often and how long you spend on your phone...

Three ways you are persuaded to buy a product

In this weeks video, Astrid Groenewegen explains 3 ways you are being persuaded to buy a product or service. It is all about how you present the prices of your...

21/04/2022

Case Study: The Behavioural Design Sprint applied to SUE.

It's my conviction that one has to practice what one preaches. That's why, twice a year, we run a Behavioural Design Sprint on ourselves, to learn what our customers need and how we...

31/03/2022

We’re addicted to hope

A gambler's addiction to hope There's a brilliant line by the comedian Norm Macdonald. He talked about the gambling addiction he had suffered from all his life. His psychiatrist told...

18/02/2022

Perspective is everything

My Belgian mother called. She was a bit worried about her son who lives in the Netherlands. Dickpics, hard lockdowns, COVID-riots, armed hostage situation, far-right creeps in parliament,… What the...

12/02/2022

Behavioural Science for Daily Life

Our mission is to help as many people as possible to leverage the power of behavioural science to make better decisions that will help them improve their work, private life...

09/02/2022

How successful organisations apply Behavioural Design

With "Start With The End", Matt Wallaert wrote a great book on how companies could benefit from behavioural science. In the book, he evangelised the idea of the Chief Behavioural...

12/01/2022

Eight wicked opportunities for Behavioural Designers

There are many fascinating areas that could greatly benefit from Behavioural Design Thinking. Because in every field, understanding human behaviour provides opportunities for behaviour change. Here are 8 domains where...

05/01/2022

Behavioural Finance: how to get wealthy in 2022?

First and foremost, I wish you and your family a prosperous 2022, free of worries. We tend to wish each other happiness and luck in the new year. However, the...

02/12/2021

Experience the Hackathon with your own eyes

Five teams of Behavioural Design Academy alumni spend an afternoon trying to change behaviour to make the world a better place. That is the SUE Hackathon. The challenge for the...

12/11/2021

How to debunk false claims about climate change?

This is a talk I gave at the EuropCom Conference, organized by the European Institutions. I was asked to talk about how to debunk misinformation and false claims about climate...

10/11/2021

Our first Behavioural Design Hackathon

If we put five teams of Behavioural Design Academy alumni in a room together for five hours, could they create a solution for a problem that governments have been struggling...

03/11/2021

How to double hand washing in the office and stay friends

If there would be an easy and friendly way to significantly improve how well people in your office wash their hands between touching all of the common surfaces such as...

29/10/2021

Conspiracy theories and the human psyche

Conspiracy theories are a puzzling testimony to several peculiarities of our brain and the inner workings of the human psyche. However, they are omnipresent and have accompanied us throughout history....

07/10/2021

The forces that shape behaviour change

In this blog, I want to explore the different forces that shape behaviour change. Whenever you want to design a strategy that aims at changing behaviour, you have to ask...

23/09/2021

How to convince more people to get vaccinated

Suppose that the national government comes to you and asks you to devise a campaign to encourage unvaccinated people to get their jab: How would you go about it? For...

31/07/2021

What is Behavioural Design

This blog post is an extended introduction to Behavioural Design. You will get a clear idea about what it is, how you can use it in your professional and personal...

24/07/2021

How to manage a company is a Behavioural Design challenge

I have been a full-time entrepreneur for ten years. I can’t say it was my destiny to become one. I somewhat stumbled into it. My dad was a truck driver,...

23/07/2021

Behavioural Design Week: Matt Wallaert

Our final keynote speaker at Behavioural Design Week 2021 was Baptiste Tougeron. As a Google Research Manager, he is responsible for ad effectiveness. During his session, he presented the most...

Behavioural Design Week: Baptiste Tougeron

Our final keynote speaker at Behavioural Design Week 2021 was Baptiste Tougeron. As a Google Research Manager, he is responsible for ad effectiveness. During his session, he presented the most...

Marketing, Leadership, Design? Everything is applied psychology.

I'm a clinical psychologist by training. When I stumbled into the marketing profession about 20 years ago, 'psychologist' was something you better kept for yourself. Back then, I'd much better...

22/07/2021

Case Study: How to get people to separate their organic waste?

In this guest blog, our Behavioural Design Academy alumnus Ron Ghijssen, founder of ANDC Design shares a fascinating and very well executed intervention strategy he worked on in the Dutch...

20/07/2021

Six rules for designing your happiness

If there is one thing we as humans all want more control over, it is our own happiness. Thousands of self-help books have been written, bought and earmarked. Maybe one...

15/05/2021

Behavioural economics 101: We’re only human.

Behavioural economics, maybe you have asked yourself once or twice, what’s all the fuss about? Why is everybody talking about us not being rational and capable of making good decisions...

How to make better financial decisions: mental accounting

Did you know we treat money differently depending on where it comes from, where it is kept, or how we label it? In this blog post, I want to introduce...

09/04/2021

Accelerating Behavioural Change: From pushing to easing

We all have been situations in which we wanted a behavioural change. It could be you want your children to behave politely. It could be you wanted your client to...

Confirmation Bias: How to convince someone who believes the exact opposite?

We all are influencing people every day. On a small scale (could you pass me the salt) and on a larger scale (choose me, my business or sales proposition). But...

How to design a choice: The art of choosing

Can we design a choice? In most societies, if there is one value we hold dear, it is our freedom of choice. Having autonomy is a concept that directly speaks...

17/03/2021

Why motivating people for climate action is problematic.

Of all ‘wicked design problems’, motivating people for climate action and designing for sustainable behavioural change are topics many people at SUE are passionate about. When Tom recently suggested Futerra’s...

24/02/2021

Why data scientists and conspiracy theorist have a lot in common

I want to share a couple of thoughts and insights on how data produces Fata Morgana's . I have become a bit obsessed lately with how easy it is to...

25/01/2021

Behavioural Design Advice for Environmentalists

This blog summarises a lecture I gave at a social innovation conference a little while ago in Belgium. Governments, NGOs, and Environmentalists worldwide are trying to get people and companies...

02/01/2021

A Behavioural Design Guide to Happiness in 2021

What is the secret to happiness? Which behaviours lead to a happier life? In this blog I want to explore how a deeper understanding of behavioural science can help us...

31/12/2020

Books I loved in 2020, and why you should read them too (updated)

I know it's a bit of a cliché to make lists like these. But on the other hand, I love to read these curated lists myself. Exciting reviews and recommendations...

26/10/2020

Leading Distributed Teams – Behavioural Research Report

Today we published a report called "Leading Distributed Teams". The report is the output of a behavioural research project did in April 2020. We wanted to learn how working as...

21/10/2020

The Behavioural Design of Joy and Happiness

These are challenging times and it's not obvious to keep up the positive spirit. That's why I want to explore some thoughts on how to apply behavioural design thinking to inject more joy...

18/10/2020

Transforming an ad agency through behavioural design

This blog post is the talk I gave at NowFest 2020, a global conference on Behavioural Science. We were asked to talk about how we successfully transformed from an ad...

21/09/2020

How to design team behaviour?

In this blog post I want to explore a fascinating phenomenon: how individuals morph into groups. Behavioural Science sheds some perspective on group behaviour in organizations and how to influence...

10/09/2020

Applied Behavioural Science Series pt. 2 – Mere exposure

Or ‘Using the power of repetition not just to build memory, but also trust.’ Behavioural science is fascinating. Understanding some of the fundamentals of human decision-making will give you far...

15/08/2020

Applied behavioural science series: The Power of Chunking

Behavioural science is fascinating. Understanding some of the fundamentals of human decision-making will give you far more control over successful outcomes of personal and professional goals than you might have...

08/08/2020

We are the product of the stories we inhabit

In previous posts, I wrote about Identity, Growth-KPI, and economic policies as examples of macro-forces for behavioural change. They have a profound impact on how people behave in society. Today I...

27/07/2020

Behavioural Design Ethics

The know-how of behavioural science can be a powerful tool to shape choices and behaviour. Therefore in Behavioural Design, thinking about ethics and acting upon them is not just relevant...

20/07/2020

Why our obsession with identity is a problem

I have spent a lot of time reading lately about identity, and its role in politics as well as in human decision-making. Isn't it bizarre that the challenges of the...

28/06/2020

The Behavioural Design of Cities

I have been thinking a lot lately about how spaces shape our behaviour. I believe that the COVID-19 crisis might change something profoundly about how we feel about living and...

12/06/2020

Why Government Spending is about Designing Behaviour

In this blogpost,  I want to shine the Behavioural Design lens on economic thinking. I believe that how governments deal with the crisis has got everything to do with Behavioural...

26/04/2020

Thoughts on the setup of a Corona Advisory Team

The course of history for the upcoming decade needs to be written in a couple of weeks. Massive failure is not an option. The situation is too dangerous for dogmatic...

24/03/2020

Where to start? This is golden era for Behavioural Design

The Covid-19 crisis requires behavioural change at an unprecedented scale Abandoned Zeedijk street in Amsterdam during the COVID-19 outbreak. A tiny creature with massive powers One tiny microscopic creature did...

23/03/2020

How to be anti-fragile when the virus hits the economy? (update 22/03)

Update 18/03 We are now 8 days further into this crisis and the world has gone into various forms of lockdown. There’s a big debate on whether this is the…

14/03/2020

Training and sprints during Covid-19

Behavioural Design and Covid-19 Training and sprints will continue It would be the worst Behavioural Design if we as SUE wouldn’t come up with interventions to help contain the Covid-19...

02/03/2020

How to Smell Bullshit? 7 Rules that will Improve your Judgement

The great philosopher Bertrand Russell once said "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt". In work, life and politics...

24/02/2020

Leverage is the secret engine for building a company

This blog is about entrepreneurship. I want to take a behavioural design perspective on how to transform a startup into a healthy scaleup, using the mental model of 'leverage'. Leverage...

19/02/2020

When accountants rule the country – irrationality and politics

The dangerous economic myths underlying political decision-making Picture by Neil Moralee, shared under a Creative Common license This is going to be a slightly longer post than usual. I want...

18/02/2020

Make Liberalism Horny Again

Dear reader, In this newsletter, I often talk about the virtues of prototyping. As I argued many times before, I think 'doing' is a much faster way to make process...

13/02/2020

The disastrous behaviour that triggered Chernobyl

I just finished reading "Midnight in Chernobyl". A chilling and magnificent book on the world's greatest nuclear disaster. But as much as it is a book about Chernobyl, it's above...

24/01/2020

Prototyping happiness

If I asked you to think about the secret of life, love and happiness, the answer you'd probably least expect would be... prototyping. And yet, I want to argue why...

Thoughts on psychological innovation and the badass honeybadger

I had the honour to do the opening keynote at the UBX19 conference in Munich a couple of weeks ago. The title of the keynote was "The future of innovation...

Why this AI influencer is freaking me out, and so it should you

So fake, it feels real "How many people in the room think AI will eventually replace the comms professional?", asked a speaker at the Adformatie conference this week. About 1...

How one buddha statue transformed a community

This story began in 2009. Dan Stevenson, a resident of Oakland's Eastlake Neighborhood, was fed up with people littering garbage in a traffic-diverting median at the intersection of two streets....

Pissing in the well

Have you ever been to Ubud in Bali? Ten years ago it was the closest you could get to paradise. Today it transformed into a mass tourism nightmare. KFC's next...

A cunning plan to nudge people into electric driving

The climate change issue is by far the most wicked behavioural design challenge in our lifetime. In about 10-20 years we will need humanity to change the fossil fuel motorblock under the...

How can you trust an expert?

Skin in the game The problem with intelligence is that smart people doubt all the time, while stupid people (or con artists) are full of confidence because they don't know...

The Behavioural Design of a Great Team

I wrote this blog post on why personal coaching is rather pointless, a little while ago. I tried to argue that it's much more important to put the effort in the...

09/01/2020

How Norway nudges its citizens to drive electric

The surprising story behind Norways spectacular rise in EV's Did you know that in Norway more than 60% of all newly bought cars are electric? Here's the surprising story of...

01/01/2020

How to make New Years Resolutions that stick?

Every year we humans engage in this collective ritual called New Years Resolutions. We somehow seem to believe in the illusion that the symbolic crossing of December 31st to January...

05/11/2019

The Behavioural Design of Love and Desire

A long-term relationship is a classic behavioural design challenge. How do you keep being in love? And how do you keep the desire burning? What are the specific behaviours that...

04/11/2019

How Jeff Bezos designs Team Behaviour

The number one question for every organization in the knowledge economy is to figure out how to get the highest level of creative, intellectual and productive power from their teams....

The importance of extreme users in research

The importance of extreme users in research One of the biggest illusions of Market Research is that you need to interview "average consumers". That's absurd. What you're looking for in...

25/08/2019

How to design an innovation habit?

This blog post touches upon the organisational habits that boost innovation and growth. Why are some companies more innovative than others? I want to argue that they have habits in...

The behavioural design of the economy. On incentives and rewards

To get the rich and powerful to change their behaviour, is the most wicked design problem of our time I have been thinking a lot lately about society's inability to...

19/08/2019

The psychological price of being rational is being unlikeable

Rational decision makers have to dare to fight common sense and social norms. This blogpost is about how being rational in organizations is actually pretty difficult. It comes at a...

10/07/2019

The Behavioural Design of Applying for a Job

How do you apply for a job? From a Behavioural Design point of view, this is a fascinating question. When you are applying for a job, there are several challenges...

23/06/2019

Growth Hacking vs. Behavioural Design

We often get questions on the difference between Behavioural Design and Growth Hacking. The short answer is that Behavioural Design is a method to come up with insights and ideas,...

11/06/2019

Cialdini on persuasion

In this blog post, we will introduce you to the work of Dr. Robert Cialdini. Who is an expert on how to influence people. And in the psychology of persuasion....

Signaling: How to add psychological value

What is the cheapest way to feel insanely rich? To me, it is having a high-tea in a five-star hotel. For about 50 to 60 euros you can get a…

20/05/2019

How to influence the perception of value?

In this blog post I want to explore the concept of value. I want to argue that Behavioural Design is as much about influencing how people perceive and experience things,...

19/05/2019

How Behavioural Science and Data Science should collaborate

Last week I had the honour to speak and lead a data science hackathon at the I-com conference in Malaga. I have never been surrounded by so many brilliant people…

04/05/2019

Personal coaching is pointless: four reasons

The lie at the heart of the coaching and Leadership-Industry I’m fully aware that I will probably get hate-mail for this. But I honestly think personal coaching is a gigantic…

24/04/2019

How to influence those in power?

How do you influence those in power? Have you seen the talk that Observer journalist Carole Cadwalladr did at the official TED2019 conference last week? Her performance became a viral sensation…

04/01/2019

Mental models: How to design for intelligent decision making?

We want to talk about mental models. They are key for intelligent decisions making. We want to introduce you to one of our intellectual heroes. A man who turned 95...

22/12/2018

How to live a meaningful life in a world that is spinning out of control?

A slightly modified version of this blog was posted on our Behavioural Design Digest Newsletter (subscribe now).  In this blog I want to share a couple of thoughts on how…

07/12/2018

What is design thinking?

In this blog post, we will explain what design thinking is all about. Originating from the innovation arena, it has gained popularity in other business domains. Driven by the success...

02/11/2018

Nudging explained

In this blog post, we will highlight the main concepts from the work of Nobel prize winner Richard Thaler as explained in his bestselling book 'Nudge.' We will explain what...

17/10/2018

System 1 and 2 quick guide

In our post 'Kahneman Fast and Slow thinking explained' we have elaborated in depth on system 1 and 2 thinking. And Daniel Kahneman's work. Therefore, this post is meant for...

Kahneman fast and slow thinking explained

Excerpt: this is a reference page. Here you can find the fundamentals of Kahneman's breakthrough work on human decision making. Firstly, it will address his discovery of fast and slow...

30/09/2018

How to create Excitement for a Design Sprint?

A Design Sprint is a thrilling experience. You get to collaborate with your clients on trying to crack problems that deeply concerns them. However, a Design Sprint also requires a…

28/09/2018

How The Senate Hearing of Brett Kavanaugh turned into a framing nightmare for Republicans

Framing Blunder 1: Attack a likable opponent In theory, a Senate hearing is supposed to be nothing more than a carefully crafted show to shape public perception. The stakes for…

21/07/2018

Why Nir Eyal is a bit of a hypocrite

Nir Eyal – the author of the book Hooked – taught a whole generation of designers and developers how to make people addicted to technology, by using techniques from behavioural…

07/05/2018

Three Cardinal Sins against Customer-Centricity in Finance

Last week, I was attending a keynote presentation by the CEO of one of the biggest Belgian banks. He was presenting the story of the digital transformation of his bank...

12/09/2017

What’s Neymar worth? A lesson in price psychology.

Behavioural economics has always been fascinated by pricing. Classic economic thinking has taught us that a price is a fair representation of supply and demand. A rational or even objective...

14/08/2017

3 techniques that will supercharge your team’s creativity

This blog post shows you three super-effective techniques rooted in behavioural science to supercharge the creativity of your team. It does require to kill off one creativity habit we all...

31/07/2017

How To Make an Agile Team Customer-Centric?

Digital Transformation, Agile Transformation, and Customer Centricity are the three major challenges that are causing sleep deprivation of managers nowadays. You could summarise that Digital Transformation is meant to be...

24/07/2017

How to change behaviour by design

This blog post shows how we can change behaviour by design. It’s hard denying we as humankind are facing serious problems today, and things need to change. Global warming is...

19/07/2017

Lose weight using behavioural design

Lose weight using behavioural design Nir Eyal - once said: “Never trust a behavioural designer who’s out of shape." The reason is that being (or getting) in shape or losing...

01/12/2014

Chief Behavioural Officer: It’s the new ‘must-have’ role

Step by step, behavioural economics, and psychological science have expanded their reach to become an established part of the business, policymaking, and regulation - for anyone seriously interested in both...

16/03/2014

How to win wars by influencing people’s behaviour

When terrorism is staged for YouTube, and all sides are media-savvy, the military is turning to the behavioural sciences for help. In 1955 Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who led the...

02/03/2014

Rediscovering the Unconscious

“When you try to answer a question,” said Kahneman, “you sometimes answer a different question.” In a seminal 1979 paper, he and Tversky described a series of experiments that questioned...

16/09/2010

How to write a mission statement that doesn’t suck

Ever been trapped in long strategic sessions to create a mission statement? Why it's so wrong isn't even primarily that's a complete waste of your time, but it is especially...

02/04/2010

Rory Sutherland: Sweat the Small Stuff

This is a video we've watched over and over again. It's a TED Talk by a personal hero of ours Rory Sutherland. In his talk, he holds a plea to...