Effective change isn't just about optimization. Effective change is about making people feel happier: they change because they have a supportive environment and motivation to transit from a less desirable to a more desirable behaviour.
This could be in context of a less healthy to a more healthy habit: Installing an electric keyboard into a metro stairway brought passers-by to climb the stairs instead of taking the escalator. It could also be in terms of expanding your own literacy: following certain people on Google+ (or even some other network) keeps you up to speed on the latest developments in Android trends so that you can be the 'cool geek' at the dinner table.
Whatever your reason, the background motivation to break an existing habit is a vested personal interest in moving to a more desirable state. To successfully drive change across an organization, community or society, you need to understand these vested personal interests of other people involved and connect to those interests, provide them with the support and motivation they need to break their current habits and make the change, and continue to cheer them on as they form new habits.
The secret ingredient: support and motivation during the transition phase. Change implementation via explaining the current situation, the goal situation, and the reason for change is insufficient – the peer pressure factor is missing. Peer pressure is very effective, and not just among kids. This feeling of belonging, of being supported and of having attention, is often not so easy to put in place: it takes time, relationship, and conversation. It means interaction. And that's what social adoption is all about – turning change from a must-do chore into a coolness standard.
Driving Social Adoption by Understanding the Power of Habit
Thanks to Mark Fleming for recommending The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg to me earlier today, and reminding me of Charles’ TED Talk on the topic. I often talk about the key to social collaborat…