As I was walking between appointments yesterday, I came across two great examples of where behaviour was gently being influenced.
The first was on the escalators. I’m sure that regular travelers around London will be familiar with the “keep to the right” signs found on almost every escalator on the subway. I’m equally sure that those same travelers will have noticed (and even been frustrated!) by the people that simply don’t see the signs or choose to ignore them, blocking the path of others from walking up or down.
So it was a breath of fresh air to see these signs had not been used on the set of escalators in the retail concourse of St Pancras. Instead, someone, somewhere had the brilliant idea of replacing them with a set of footprints. I watched for a while, smiling to myself whilst people naturally moved to the right as this subconscious cue came into play. It reminded me of the video clip that was featured on this blog some time ago, of a staircase in the Stockholm subway that was transformed into a set of piano keys to encourage people to walk up them.
On piano keys…the second example I noticed was a couple of upright pianos that had been placed around the concourse, for people to sit and play. Now, unlike the footsteps on the escalator, this isn’t the first time that I’d spent a few moments to pause and listen to the wonderful music being played or to stop in awe of the talents on display.
But, it was the first time that I’d considered how wonderfully these acts illustrate how a light touch can influence the behaviour of budding and experienced pianists, and of course the passers-by, simply by placing a piano in the middle of a railway station.
So it set me wondering.
Wondering how leaders might think or rethink about their organisation’s environment and how it can so gently, and yet so strongly, influence behaviour.
What ‘footsteps‘ could you use?
And, what ‘pianos‘ can you provide for your people, to delight and engage them?