12 Men

In: Business and Management

Submitted By paritarathi
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12 Angry Men and 5 lessons in behaviour change
After re-watching 12 Angry Men yesterday (great movie), I started thinking how inspiring this movie might be for anyone working with communities and organizations to change behaviour for the better. Compressed into an intense and claustrophobic 96 minutes, the script and performances do a wonderful job of highlighting and exaggerating some big points when it comes to behaviour change. It’s kind of like a mini test-lab of social norms, nudging and the power of emotion all mixed up and working together.
I’ve put together a little summary of the five observations that stood out for me. It’s by no means exhaustive, but captures a few ideas that kept popping up after.
#1 – Looking up and out
In the early scene of the movie, as the jurors start to gather around the table, Henry Fonda’s character (Juror #8) deliberately separates himself from the group. He moves at his own pace, walks over to the window and looks out, and is the 2nd last Juror to seat himself at the table. It’s pretty clear that while he’s sizing up the group and their mood, he’s being careful to separate himself from the group, and maintain a different perspective.
I think this is an interesting image to keep in mind when kicking off any behaviour change initiative. It’s important to seek a different point of view and start seeing the bigger picture – to look up and out. By looking up at the environment, you can start to size up the surrounding conditions and environment that are contributing to why people do the things they do. And by looking out, you can seek inspiration in unusual and surprising places. This might be reviewing what’s worked in other markets, or simply by talking to lots of different people who impact and experience the issue from a number of different angles.
#2 – Nudging toward a better choice
This movie does a pretty good job of…...

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