If we want to encourage better behaviors, we have to make it easier for people to do whatever it is that we want them to do by removing obstacles in their path. What about if we want to discourage behaviors such as smoking? We put more obstacles in the smokers path, Erik Askin proposes ‘design to annoy’. The premise is that if you design the cigarette package in a way that makes it harder for people to smoke; it might change a consumers behavior.
This is a clear example of questioning the status quo and purposely breaking the rules to encourage a behavior, in this case, to make it difficult for people to smoke.
When we look at our organizations and institutions from this lens, are we designing them to encourage the behaviors we want or discouraging them? It’s clear that if we want to encourage creative thinking in our organizations then we have to do some major changes as most organizations are designed to encourage predictable outcomes and not new ones.
Food for thought!