1st Edition

Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour
19 Ways to Ask for Change

ISBN 9781849714006
Published April 5, 2012 by Routledge
192 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

What is the answer to inspiring sustainable behaviour? It starts with a question – or nineteen. With this simple and inspiring guide you'll learn how to ask for persistent, pervasive, and near-costless change by uncovering our hidden quirks, judgmental biases, and apparent irrationalities.  The only change you'll need to make is how you ask.

Businesses, larger or small, will soon have to cut costs and cut carbon, irrespective of the products they sell, or the services they perform. National government has structural policy and legislative needs, and local government has implementation and documentation needs. Indeed, the new UK government coalition’s approach to transport is simply ‘cut costs and cut carbon’. Set against this there is an increasing sense that popular culture and popular science are congregating around a desire to understand who we are and how we behave. The recent rise of behavioural economics is a testament to this as well as the relevance of environmental psychology. Allied to this is a sense that big business is forging ahead with plans to account for and mitigate carbon emissions without the marketing and communications departments being able to help or communicate this effectively either through their own efforts or those of their communication agencies.

The ‘19 Different Ways to Ask for Change’ offer a solution to all these needs by pulling them together and showing that changing how we ask is near-costless, but its effects could be near-priceless. This book shows that simplification isn’t always the solution, an action can be the most successful question, and a default answer can be the most important. It explores why short-term memory tasks change our behaviour, how singing roads regulate speed, and that commitment gaps change outcomes; how our worry-profile is the same as an Argentinean farmer's, why knowledge of what kills you is irrelevant but asking about behaviour that kills is deadly, and what a chimpanzee’s tea-party tells us about the effect of ownership on decision-making.

This timely book will be of great value to scholars and practitioners whose work relates to reducing carbon emissions with a particular emphasis on environmental psychology, behavioural economics, project design, and psychology. It offers practical solutions for policy makers and professionals in marketing and communications departments.

Table of Contents

Part 1: The Expected  1. Just Ask  2. Ask Using The Right Words  3. Ask Using The Right Images  4. Ask At The Right Time  Part 2: The Unexpected  6. Ask –  But Have A Default Option  7. Ask For a Commitment (In The Future)  8. Ask in the Right Order  9. Ask Kinetically  Part 3: The Contradictions  10. Add Options  11. Take Away Options  12. Ask Using the Right Authority  13. Ask Using the Right Fake Authority  Part 4: The Conversations  14. Let the Feedback Ask the Question  15. Ask Nothing – Other Than to Go Public  16. Ask for it Back  Part 5: The Swerves  17. Ask a Different Question  18. Don’t Ask (Tell)  19. Make the Question Irrelevant

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Oliver Payne started out in digital marketing in the mid-90's - a few short years after Tim Burners-Lee invented the internet as we know it. He went on to spend over a decade at Saatchi & Saatchi and Ogilvy - two of the biggest agency networks on the planet - creating adverts and innovative communications for some of the world's biggest companies, winning many of the advertising industry’s awards, and judging on award shows. At Ogilvy he served as a Partner, and Board member. Frustrated with established marketing practices he decided to set up his own agency - The Hunting Dynasty - to create behavioural communications that use our hidden quirks and apparent irrationalities.


"We assume big problems need big solutions and the bigger the problem, the more you will need to ask of people. Yet, what Oliver Payne shows, is how intelligent small changes that often ask little or nothing of people can be hugely effective even in the face of a global problem. This creative engagement with human understanding will change your mind and might just save the planet" – Nick Southgate, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, Behavioural Economics Consultant

"The most passionate and articulate hymn to sustainability since ‘An inconvenient Truth’" – Mark Wnek, Advertising Professional and green entrepreneur

"Oliver Payne’s book is an eminently accessible guide to understanding people's behaviour and what you can do to influence them to change it.  Along the way you will discover that what people say they think can’t be separated from how they think, why context is crucial and that experimentation beats asking.  Beyond its importance to the topic of sustainability, whatever the concept or product, you will sell it more effectively once you have read this book" – Philip Graves, author of Consumer.ology

"What strikes me most about Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour is how Oliver Payne masterfully brings together insights from a wide range of psychological research, weaving them into a coherent guide for communications for change. The book is both pragmatic and inspirational, shot through with powerful stories yet relevant to everyday practice" – Dan Lockton, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, and author of Design with Intent: 101 Patterns for Influencing Behaviour Through Design.

"Changing our own behaviour is hard enough. Changing other people's is more difficult still. But the task has been made worse by some spectacularly wrongheaded assumptions about human behaviour which have infected business and government decision-making; in particular the idea that people are hyper-rational, endlessly cogitating individuals who make optimal choices regardless of how and when those choices are presented. If you want to join the fight against this insane, mechanistic view of human nature, you will find Oliver's book an essential and often-used part of your armoury" – Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman Ogilvy & Mather UK, author of The Wiki Man

"Nudging can be used for good or for evil. For far too long, the evil-doers have known about the tools for influencing behavior. Thanks to efforts like Oliver Payne's, that is all changing. Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour will help create more good in the world, while bringing more fun and happiness to those who lead the charge" – Dr John Balz, Marketing Strategist, former editor of Nudge blog associated with the New York Times bestseller Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health Wealth and Happiness