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What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

187. Motivation and Incentives at Work with Kurt Nelson

Today I am very excited to introduce you to Dr. Kurt Nelson, one of the cohosts of Behavioral Grooves as well as the president and founder of The Lantern Group. 

In our conversation today we dig into motivation and incentivizing people at work and how to align that with your company strategy. We discuss how simple, seemingly “obvious” things can cause miscommunications so easily, like the word “grooves” in Behavioral Grooves. Tim and Kurt had many conversations about the name and agreed to it and were doing their first interview when they realized they had totally different ideas of that context – ha! Listen in to hear the full story. Kurt also shares his top podcasting tips and advice for anyone thinking about starting their own show. He shares so many great insights in our conversation, you definitely want to make sure to listen in.

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HERE'S A 2 MINUTE TIP.

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SHOW NOTES:

  • [00:41] Today I am very excited to introduce you to Dr. Kurt Nelson, one of the cohosts of Behavioral Grooves as well as the president and founder of The Lantern Group.
  • [02:17] Recently, Tim and Kurt did a session in the BE Thoughtful Revolution – watch the replay.
  • [03:26] Kurt shares about himself and his background. He is a behavioral scientist and he has been working in the field for 20+ years. 
  • [05:04] Discussion on the music piece of Behavioral Grooves (and an interesting miscommunication that can teach you about business). 
  • [07:43] There are over 260 episodes of the Behavioral Grooves podcast.   
  • [09:34] Melina believes that Abbey Road by The Beatles is the greatest album ever. 
  • [12:25] Sometimes we get constrained by our own knowledge. The idea of not knowing allows you to be more expansive in your thoughts about what could be.
  • [13:40] People get limited not only by their expertise, but also by their history.
  • [15:33] The interesting piece about business and the world is that it is constantly evolving, shifting, and changing. What worked last year might not work this year. The context changes by company and year.  
  • [17:31] Co-hosts work on a podcast if you have a clear understanding and respect for each other. You also need to have an understanding of who is doing different roles. 
  • [18:59] Consistency is key! 
  • [20:18] As a host you have to bring a unique perspective to the story they are telling and ask them the right questions. 
  • [22:04] A lot of the work Kurt does focuses on applying a behavioral science lens inside of organizations and trying to help the company understand the drivers of an employee’s behavior and the motivation behind that behavior. They usually start with a behavioral audit. 
  • [24:06] A big gap is almost always communication. You can have the best incentive plan, total rewards, and structure in place, but if people don’t understand it or buy into it, you are missing a big opportunity.
  • [26:27] Kurt shares two of his corporate projects. They looked at the current programs they had in place and what behaviors they were driving. 
  • [28:26] Companies want the behaviors the incentive plans and rewards programs are driving to align with the company strategy. 
  • [29:03] The pandemic has been a real game-changer for many organizations. 
  • [30:14] You need to treat your employees as humans. Understand what you can do as a manager to allow that human-centeredness of your employees to really be there and that you are bringing in the elements of listening, care, empathy, and concern. 
  • [32:19] Understanding incentives becomes even more important when people are working remotely. 
  • [32:39] The incentives need to match the audience you are currently trying to appeal to.  
  • [34:43] That alignment with your incentives and your audience might mean you might have to exclude a certain group of people.
  • [35:47] Get the philosophy aligned with where you want to go before you even start to think about the specifics of how your rewards, incentives, and communication all go into play. 
  • [36:50] In business we often think we are on the same page, but there are so many different perspectives that didn’t even come into your brain. 
  • [39:03] There is a real value of bringing someone in that isn’t a part of the organization to do some of this work. 
  • [41:47] Melina shares her closing thoughts. 
  • [42:22] Join my free community, the BE Thoughtful Revolution.

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