The Williams Behaviour Change Model


Video Poster Image

About The Williams Behaviour Change Model


The model has three key components:

1.     Defining the behavioural challenge

Everything we do in business is about getting people to move from point A, their existing behaviour, to point B, the desired behaviour. From not clicking a button to clicking, from not signing to signing, from not turning up on time to being a model of punctuality, each and everyday we need to get other people to take action to get the outcome we need.

Before we can work out how to get people to take action we therefore have to ask ourselves what they are currently doing and what we want them to do.

2.     Analysing the behavioural barriers

There are three reasons people don’t take action:

  • Lazy (Apathy) – your customer simply can’t be bothered intellectually, emotionally or physically to do what you want (a System 1 challenge)
  • Overwhelmed (Paralysis) – your customer is overwhelmed by the decision (Paradox of Choice), and/or
  • Scared (Anxiety) – your customer is worried about proceeding (Loss Aversion)

In any given situation you may have one, two or three barriers at work, and by identifying which are in play you can then anticipate problems before they arise.

3.     Designing behavioural solutions to address each barrier

Once we’ve identified the barriers we can use behavioural economics to address each one.

  • To overcome laziness we need to engage our customers, and that typically means reducing effort and maximising reward.
  • To resolve overwhelm it’s up to us to clarify our customers’ choices. That may mean constraining the number of choices, introducing default options or using design to improve differentiation.
  • And to overcome fear we need to mitigate concerns about taking action, either by giving our customers nothing to lose or, conversely, making inaction unpalatable by giving them something much worse to lose.

In creating the Behaviour Change Model my hope was to help people like you bridge the gap between an interest in behavioural economics and its application to everyday business issues.

Have to write an email? Launch a marketing campaign? Pitch for new business? Negotiate with a supplier? Motivate staff? Influence your boss?  It all starts with your A, your B, your barriers and your enablers.

If you are interested in knowing more about how to identify and overcome the three barriers to action, as well as how to tackle issues like acquisition, retention, pricing, innovation, staff performance and website design contact Bri today.

You can also read more in Bri's book Behavioural Economics for Business.

Behavioural Economics for Business

Bri's book in which she details the Williams Behaviour Change model.

More information

Lazy, Scared and Overwhelmed

Bri's presentation at Nudgestock Global in which she introduced the Williams Behaviour Change model.

Watch the presentation

Sharlene Cohen

Surety Property

"Bri has always exceeded expectations and has never let me down. Her detail and quality of content and delivery are exceptional. I would highly recommend Bri if you want to think about your business differently and if you want to be an industry leader."