In these months of American politicians trying to influence you, I thought it interesting to look at ways of using the same tools for positive change.
In May 1995, Canadian academic, broadcaster and environmental activist David Suzuki invited marketers, scientists, media educators, and activists to Vancouver for a Social Change Conference. The goal was for social change organisations to learn about effective marketing and behaviour change from professionals and each other.
The proceedings were published in Tools for Change, which is available at the Vancouver Pubic Library, and AFAIK basically nowhere else. Here’s what I found interesting:
David Suzuki tells of making television science programs. He thought people would turn on TV to watch his program, then turn it off and discuss.
Of course people don’t watch television that way at all. They come home, they turn it on, and it’s there. And they tune in and out, assaulted by a barrage of images. By the time they go to bed at night, their brains are mush. They retain bits and pieces with no idea where it came from.
Excited to have my first post on Lincoln Loop’s blog, about intrinsic motivation, flow, and why you don’t find cats in offices:
When your client is hundreds of miles away, but your bed only three feet, it helps to understand motivation.
The first thing to understand about motivation is that it’s not something you do to someone. That’s called coercion. With enough power you can make anyone do almost anything, but you can’t make them want to; and typically …
Your goal as a negotiator is to get the target(s) (the person or people you are trying to arrest) to surrender peacefully to law enforcement.
Sometimes there are hostages, and then your priority is securing their release, but usually there are not. By getting them to put down their weapons and come out you are usually saving their lives, and also protecting your colleagues.
The last resort is an armed assault by the SWAT team. Prior to negotiation being taken seriously by law enforcement, this was the only option.
Make exclusive contact
First and foremost, you need to get in contact with them. Usually they are keen to talk, and most often you can use the phone line. Sometimes you have to get the SWAT team to bring them a field telephone. Sometimes you stand outside the window or at the foot of the stairs, and shout. And occasionally, as in the Beltway sniper case you have to ask the media to say things and hope the target hears.
ROWE stands for Results Only Work Environment, and means each person is free to do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done. It is being used by Best Buy, Gap, and (small) parts of the US government.
On a personal note, I’ve been working from home (freelance) for two years now, since my son was born. Not only do I get a lot more (a lot more) done than I used to in the office, even better, I’m getting to see my son grow up. And no commuting. And getting to know my neighbors. And and …
Perform the following thought experiment. Remove yourself for a moment from your present socioeconomic circumstances and imagine that you are to be replaced randomly into society at any class level.
Now, before you know your particular place in society you are told that it is within your powers to redistribute the wealth of that society in any way that you choose. What distribution would you choose?
Materialism and the behaviors that go with it – desiring and buying brand-name clothes and luxury items – are symptoms of insecurity and a coping strategy used to alleviate feelings of self-doubt or bolster a poor self-image.
But if what [we] are really seeking is greater happiness and fulfillment, materialism is a terrible coping method. At best it provides only short-term relief; in the long run it is likely to deepen feelings of insecurity.
If you read Raising Happiness (and if you are a new parent, I recommend it), skip the first chapter, because it will put you off. The other chapters are very good, and cover key Positive Psychology research.