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The most powerful thing on earth: not telling people what to do.

by Polle on November 15, 2011

The most powerful thing on earth: not telling people what to do.

Early this year, I got a check with ‘thank you’ written on it. A clear act to nudge me into tipping more. And I actually think it works. I actually think that more people will tip and will tip a higher amount when you add a hand-written message. It re-ignited my passion for nudges; small interventions you can do to change people’s behavior. Not by telling them what to do, but by creating an environment where a specific choice is the best and most logical option.

I was invited to do a presentation on nudges/hacks and changing companies from within for the city of Den Bosch in the Netherlands. They are wrapping a two-year project that stimulated employees to think of creative new hacks for their daily practice. The results? A new way to clean roads from snow, a way to find colleagues based on interests and hobbies and some ways to save paper. Pretty interesting, especially when these kinds of smart projects could be a standard reflex within the company. Thus, my plea for more nudges and implementing them via smart projects:


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