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Three reasons why behavioural science workshops can enhance your insights

No matter which organisation you work for, you will encounter challenges in your daily work life. At Irrational Agency, we specialise in providing solutions to these challenges. But often it’s the medium through which these solutions are recommended which can determine their impact. We’ve spent the last couple of years working with partners in the financial space on the FCA Consumer Duty regulations, and found that delivering behavioural science solutions through workshops is an effective way of making an impact.

Confidence through experience

It is one thing, to convince clients that recommendations will be effective in theory, but it is quite another to enact those solutions. We know from behavioural science that the belief in your ability to enact a solution transforms the chances of doing so.

Within training workshops, we create an environment whereby insights and solutions are not just told but demonstrated. When done effectively, confidence in applying insights can be instilled by getting workshop participants to observe the insights work in real-time.

When a client experiences the efficacy of the insight themselves it breaks the barrier between what sounds good in theory and what works in practice. In our workshops we incorporate live experiments that echo relevant real-life situations into the workshops as a way of breaking that barrier.

So, in a finance oriented workshop we would use an experiment like this to illustrate the effect of anchoring:

To demonstrate that customer perception of an insurance premium is impacted by unrelated prices elsewhere in a document, we set up an anchoring experiment which could demonstrate this effect on the insurance underwriters and claim handlers. In our experiment, everyone recalled what day of the month their birthday is on. And they then turned that number into a price. E.g. if their birthday is the 16th of July their price would be £16.

We then asked a simple question – What price would you pay for this bottle of wine?

With a quick bit of analysis, we found that those born in the second half of the month were willing to pay 63% more for a bottle of wine than those born in the first half of the month. Simply, because they had in their mind a higher unrelated price before bidding for the bottle of wine.

Creating confidence in insight by demonstrating it like this, can help determine the impact of the insight because it gives the client stakeholders belief in that insight working. Making them more able to persevere with the insight we provide even in the face of internal challenges.

Creative Collaboration

Another key element of training workshops is creative collaboration. Within a debrief or presentation, though there may be time to discuss ideas, the freedom to explore those ideas and make mistakes rarely exists.

Researchers can be proud of their considered insight and recommended solutions, but we understand applying a solution is more complex than copy-pasting solutions into customer communications or marketing collateral. Workshops allow us to go a step further with insights, by creatively exploring how they can be applied.

We conducted a workshop with an insurance company after having done several tests on their communications. The testing gave us insight and data into what communications features worked and what didn’t. The workshop then facilitated how to integrate these communication features.

In a workshop we:

  • Define a behavioural concept
  • Give a broad example of that concept
  • Give a relevant example to the audience
  • Allow the audience to create their own examples.

A key way of facilitating creative collaboration in workshops is to create an environment which is “psychologically safe”. Whereby, participants felt comfortable engaging with what they were learning and making mistakes. This is a concept which studies have shown to boost innovation.

Building creativity into the use of insight also allowed the client to build the solutions themselves, rather than just relying on them adopting a recommendation straight from an external agency. We know within behavioural science that the experience of mastering a skill yourself can boost belief in that skill working effectively.

These workshops enable us to get clients to work with the insight themselves rather than simply being told the insight.

Working in Context

Something we strive to do is to incorporate client context into our work. That means offering bespoke, tailored solutions but it also means listening to the day-to-day challenges of our clients to understand how best to meet those needs.

Running behavioural science workshops is an effective way of understanding client context for the simple reason that – you get to meet and interact with the client stakeholders.

Understanding where the client was before working with us and what they must go through after receiving recommended solutions helps us understand how to provide recommended solutions that fit in with their work lives.

From running workshops, we have been able to have fruitful discussions with clients which have enabled us to understand:

  • What difficulties do clients face when making suggested changes?
  • What steps do they go through to make changes?
  • What power do different people have to enact changes?
  • Their reactions to and understanding of the insight we provide
  • What they need to feel confident incorporating our insight into their workstreams

By making sure that we instil confidence through experience, collaborate creatively and work with the client's context we have worked to ensure our behavioural science workshops are effective at providing high-impact solutions and bringing insights to the heart of the business we work with.

We are continuing to provide behavioural science expertise through workshops and would love to hear your thoughts!

If you want to get in touch because you are interested in working with us or want to talk more then please contact at hello@irrationalagency.com

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