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The Impact of Intentions

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by John Austin in Behavior change, Leadership, Safety, Training

There is a difference between intention and impact.

I’ll give an example…a CEO was told it was safer for people to reverse park their cars in the parking lots at their 26 sites across the country.

She decides it will be a new policy that everyone must do this.

The intended impact and ‘mental forecast’ she makes is that things will be safer because reverse parking will reduce risk in the parking lots.

The actual impact was…people spent inordinate amounts of time complaining, sites felt they had to resurface their parking lots, HR had to create a progressive discipline strategy for not reverse parking, people looked for ways around the rule, several accidents occurred from people hitting other vehicles, and many front line workers had no idea it was a rule.

Urgh. It’s not easy to predict the downstream impacts of our decisions, but learning behavioral science can help.

If you want to learn more about how to predict impact of your decisions, email me.

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