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Framework #21


Cabinet Office (2010)

What does it mean?

MINDSPACE is a framework created by the Cabinet Office in 2010 that collected the latest in advances from behavioural science to offer a new set of tools for governments. The report on MINDSPACE suggests that people seek to change behaviour in two main ways. First, by changing minds, which has proven to be ineffective as it only addresses “surface concerns”. Second, by changing behaviour or contextual cues - looking at root cause and latent drivers that drive our decision making process (or ‘choice architecture’).

MINDSPACE focuses on ‘choice architecture’; by doing so we can change behaviour and help embed that change within people's’ subconscious - MINDSPACE stands for:

  • Messenger - how we are influenced by who communicates information
  • Incentives - how we are programmed to respond strongly or otherwise to things like loss
  • Norms - how we are influenced by what others around us do
  • Defaults - how we tend to “go with the flow”
  • Salience - how relevant something is to us
  • Priming - how our acts can be influenced sub-consciously by cues
  • Affect - how our emotional associations can shape our actions
  • Commitments - how we seek to keep promises
  • Ego - how we act in ways that make us feel good about ourselves

Why do we believe it's important?

MINDSPACE is used as part of our Digital Problem Solving Adoption Engineering methodology. It helps us to effectively lead (or pull) people through specific paths to adoption. Utilising a series of well structured interventions, MINDSPACE enables the overarching engagement strategy to bridge gaps with individual and collective motivation and change behavioural patterns for the better.  

How do we put it into practice?

We use MINDSPACE in our daily client engagements ensuring we have the correct approach and messaging in our programme delivery.  We find that MINDSPACE is particularly useful when coupled with other frameworks like ADKAR, Kotter, and SCARF. Whilst its application is very relevant to communications strategy, when applied with clear phases or “gates” and behavioural cues it becomes a very useful framework to leverage.

Source: Cabinet Office, UK Government (2010)


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