Behavioral Change

While in college, I worked at a summer camp over the summer in the program office. One of my jobs was making cookies for staff meetings, events and basically anything that anyone asked for cookies for.

It was then that I was first introduced to Otis Spunkmeyer and the hair dryer powered oven that they provide.

The oven always worked and was never an issue… it was the other people in the office who were the issue.


I’d bake the required number of cookies and leave them on a side table in my office and go about my day.

When it came time to drop the cookies off, they were 75% gone.


My first approach to solving this was to make more and put them on the top with a sign saying, eat the extras, don’t eat the ones I need.

This failed miserably… so I got to thinking, what would make people change behavior.


I didn’t have any power to change much besides maybe hide the cookies which feels insane since it was an office, then I decided to use information. Using our internet, which was 100k downstream (crazy slow) I went to Otis Spunkmeyer, the cookie brands website.


I found the nutrition facts and printed them up for the cookies we were serving.

With a small piece of scotch tape, I taped it to the front of the plastic case.


The cookie theft stopped.

I only had to keep the sheet there for about a week and amazingly when people had to physically move a piece of paper with the nutrition facts out of the way, the behavior stopped immediately and completely.


Sometimes basic information can be the most powerful behavioral change.

What info are you not sharing that would solve issues in your life?


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