A behaviour science approach to organisational culture

  • Begin with the hard questions regarding the source of non-financial and conduct risk.
  • Risk managers can influence employee behaviours by drawing on behaviour science findings to better design organisational contexts.
  • Designing a better organisational context involves building the appropriate social infrastructure to recognise and respond to employees’ social needs.

Starting in the right place

What if risk managers are starting in the wrong place when seeking to design a risk culture? What if instead of focusing on the character of individuals, managers concentrate on creating an organisational context that makes it as easy as possible for people to do the right thing? Would it work? Behaviour science evidence says it will. Furthermore, risk managers may well be able to enlist every member of the organisation as risk partners and co-designers of desired culture.

Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t, and we have the science to prove it.

Intuitively we know that people are changing all the time. The science shows us that one of the main tasks of our brains is to help us adjust our behaviour when our environment or contexts changes. We overestimate the power of individual character and underestimate the power of culture and the influence of workplace colleagues in shaping our behaviour choices.

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