Brains, Behaviour and Better Organisations

This issue explores insights into human behaviour and how they can help organisations make better decisions.

The picture that emerges is that people are far from being the rational actors that our economic models say we are. Humans evolved to compete and cooperate socially in complex ways, and to react to circumstances according to ‘fast thinking’ rules of thumb, not logic. We develop habits that no longer make sense but which we find hard to break. We take decisions that are in no-one’s interest, least of all our own. And on the whole we are blind to all this irrationality – at least in ourselves. Behavioural economics examines how this irrationality affects economic choices.

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Read the individual articles…

Our Buggy Brains

Ian Hadden and Rupert Widdicombe,with Dan Ariely

Neuroscience and behavioural economics are shedding light on the ‘bugs’ in our brains that trick us. Organisations need to understand these tricks if they want to make good decisions. Read more…


Optimism and Power of Choice

Ian Hadden and Rupert Widdicombe with Tali Sharot

We are born wearing rose-tinted spectacles. Understanding this can help organisations harness their workforce to make better decisions. Read more…


Organisation – Noun or Verb?

Ian Hadden and Rupert Widdicombe with Julian Baggini

Organisations, like people, are messy and fragmented sets of competing factions with no overall control centre. They can learn from a trick our brains play on us – creating a sense of unity from a bundle of devolved processes. Read more…


Unlocking Motivation

Jonathan Schifferes and Susie Steed

Unlocking motivation relies on understanding that organisational culture informs, but is also formed by, personal behaviour. Read more…


Building the Adaptive Organisation

Jonathan Rowson, RSA

Highlights practical tools to help organisations tackle adaptive challenges, recognising that only those who are part of the problem can really be part of the solution. Read more…