While large companies and governments appear to believe that the more money they spend or the more force they apply to change anything in life is more likely to cause the desired change, behavioral economics tells us that input and change are not always directly related when it comes down to individual choices. In fact, small changes can have huge effects while vast changes can often be of little effect.
There is compelling evidence that attention to the small details, employing little fixes and making minute course corrections can catalyze change in ways that big fixes and massive, costly solutions does not. Ad man Rory Sutherland presented his unconventional wisdom on this topic at TEDSalon London 2010. I think you will enjoy it!
This logic makes me think of the large problems we face in our society today. Obesity, chronic disease, declining educational outcomes, environmental catastrophes such as the oil spill in the Gulf, dismal voter turnout and the list goes on. Might there be a simple solution or at least simple steps that might make a dent in the problem?
I’m also mindful of the implications for small business. Small businesses by nature tend to lack the access to capital that facilitates large-scale solutions to problems faced in in the marketplace or internally within the company. That said, it cannot be considered a given that small businesses necessarily excel when it comes to detail management. Placing value on small but highly leveraged solutions that take into account the findings of behavioral economics makes sense and is an approach I will emphasize in the days to come.