Giving Compass’ Take:
• The author discusses how to effectively implement new technology programs into government systems using intrinsic motivation, choice architecture, and feedback/transparency.
• How do nudge strategies help change human behavior?
• Learn about the tech trends that are going to impact the public sector.
The U.S. Forest Service recently spent thousands of dollars apiece updating its field radios. The new devices, which could store more frequencies and were easier to program, were intended to improve the firefighter experience. But some veteran wildland firefighters grumbled, pawned the new radios off on rookies, and continued to use the old ones. The problem was that in the new design the volume and channel dials had swapped places, and they didn’t like it.
We’ve analyzed a diverse set of case studies of new technologies introduced to public-sector organizations and found that the difference between full adoption and technological “tissue rejection” is not always a question of technology or even the basic strategy for piloting it in the organization. It’s usually a matter of the attention paid to human behavior.
An organization’s technology and strategy are implemented, in the end, by real people. Real people are subject to cognitive biases. To learn how to improve the odds of getting a new technology to stick, we turned to behavioral science, which has explored how basic behavioral “nudges” can encourage people to transform their workflows even in the face of uncomfortable change.
Three basic strategies are a solid place to start:
- Intrinsic motivation: Convincing end users that there is a good reason for that effort can inspire the expenditure of the cognitive energy required to uproot a habit.
- Choice architecture: This is the art of presenting alternatives in a way that encourages decision-makers to make the preferred choices.
- Feedback and transparency: People like to know why they are doing something and whether it is effective. Transparency works in two places: in the front end, by clarifying an effort’s ultimate goals, and on the back end, by revealing an effort’s results.
Read the full article about art of nudging technology into the public sector by William D. Eggers and Timothy Murphy at Governing Magazine
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