As we head into the Christmas break, I thought it would be worthwhile to note some of the books I have found most helpful on behaviour and behavioural economics. A word of warning though, once you read these books the Boxing Day sales will never seem the same.
The book that got me started in the field of behavioural economics. Dan has a talent for writing in an extremely accessible, entertaining way and throughout the book weaves illuminating examples of human irrationality.
Dan’s follow up to Predictably Irrational which looks at the opportunities behavioural economics creates. Whilst a worthwhile read I found that Upside of Irrationality dealt with benefits quite broadly where I wanted to understand the application of principles specifically to the work issues I encounter. (I subsequently wrote my book 22 Minutes to a Better Business to close this gap.)
Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Dan and Chip Heath
One of the best change management books I have read and which will have you looking at your stakeholders in a completely different light…as elephants. Deals with the behavioural elements of change by encouraging us to appeal to both the rational and emotional being (and no, that doesn’t mean telling your stakeholder you love them…unless you want to). If you are looking for new ways of influencing people, this book is very worthwhile.
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein
Shamefully I haven’t yet read this book but do keep up with the blog, and Nudge is widely regarded as the seminal work for breaking behavioural economics away from academia.
Habit: 95% of Behavior that Marketers Ignore by Neale Martin
A pet area of interest for me is how habits form and how you can break them. If you are in sales, marketing or product development, an understanding of habits is an important element of your customer acquisition and retention plans and this little book is a very interesting read.
Have a great festive season and I look forward to more behavioural blogging in the new year.