Thursday, May 24, 2012

Change the environment to change behavior

The other day, the manager of my local coffee shop rearranged all his chairs and tables.  

Immediately, people began forming different groups and acting differently.

Four men who met once a week to talk about sports and politics moved from a cluster of armchairs to wooden chairs around a big table at the other end of the coffee shop. They talked less and left earlier.

College students who use the coffee shop as a place to study moved from small tables to armchairs. They started staying longer.

What struck me was  how easily the manager changed everyone's behavior by rearranging the chairs.

Change the environment to change behavior.

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