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Behavior Change

Complex organizational change can happen fast. Sustaining it requires adopting new behaviors and habits. BCG’s Behavioral Science Lab applies a scientific, behaviorally informed approach to the challenge of behavioral change, enabling organizations to predictably succeed.

Transformations, new business models, novel uses of technology: successful change management can unlock previously unimaginable organizational growth. However, sparking and sustaining the necessary behavioral change is difficult. Most change programs fail because they don’t sufficiently drive human behavior toward needed habits and actions for success. That’s why our insights and solutions are informed by behavioral research and analysis. Some say change management is an art. We know it’s a science.


Our Approach to Behavior Change

BCG’s Behavioral Science Lab is a team of strategists, behavioral scientists, economists, psychologists, and anthropologists. Our behavioral science approach uses evidence-based methods and interventions to predict and shift behavior, fostering change that benefits organizations, their employees, and those they serve, whether customers or citizens. Typically, we work with clients in one of three ways:

  • Establishing a dedicated behavioral science function within an organization that not only homes in on the factors that influence behavior or hinder change but also implements precise interventions 
  • Fostering behavior in business that helps advance a specific goal, such as the adoption of generative AI, human-centered design, or agile ways of working 
  • Sparking the broad behavioral change that is required by a complex transformation; more specifically, moving a large number of people away from behaviors that worked well in the past but are less effective in a new competitive or technological landscape 

Every engagement is defined by collaboration. We work side by side with clients and draw on BCG’s full roster of experts—those in traditional business areas, including people and organization strategy, as well as emerging technologies, such as AI. Like all BCG teams, we prioritize enablement, ensuring that clients fully develop the capabilities necessary to sustain behavior change.

Our Impact in Driving Behavior Change

The Behavioral Science Lab works with organizations across industries and across the globe. While different engagements call for different solutions, all share a common goal: to understand the motivations, impediments, and interventions that influence change. Here are some examples of our impact.

 
 

Our Tools to Support Behavioral Science in Business

We use proprietary tools, anchored in data and scientific methods, to customize and optimize solutions for behavior change. These solutions empower clients, fueling a long-term capacity for identifying the pain points and interventions that are most relevant to business behavior.

We also help clients by using best-in-class behavioral tools and approaches, such as randomized control trials and Remesh sessions, which collect qualitative insights from audiences in real time and at scale. These methods and resources complement our proprietary toolkit. Here are two of our most important resources:

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Change-Energy Assessment. Research has found that people’s attitude toward change—their change energy—is influenced by two factors. The first is confidence, or individuals’ belief in their ability to succeed. The second is mental capacity, or their bandwidth to complete complex tasks. These factors shift over time—often rapidly—and are affected by what is happening in their work life and personal life. Our assessment is a weekly pulse check, supported by powerful analytics, that examines employee sentiment during periods of change and that provides insights that spark timely and precise interventions.

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Nudges at Scale. When deployed in innovative and savvy ways, technology is a potent accelerator of behavior change. Our nudges-at-scale team leverages data science, digital, and other enablers to develop interventions that spur value-creating business behavior. AI-powered nudge engines, for example, recommend actions—such as follow-up sales calls—that promote best practices, enhance workflows, and deliver optimal outcomes.

Explore Our Insights on Behavior Change

Meet Some of Our Behavioral Science Consulting Leadership Team

BCG’s Behavioral Science Lab effects change and creates value by applying expertise in economics, sociology, psychology, consumer insights, marketing, neuroscience, and cutting-edge technologies. Our leadership team brings more than 50 years of experience in these areas. Here are some members of our behavior change consulting team:

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