Why Behavioral Science Should Play a Starring Role in Your Strategy

July 21, 2020 by Meghan McDonald

In our last two posts, we’ve explored what team alignment is and how the right survey questions will help you gauge your own team’s alignment. In this final post of the series, we’ll delve into why behavioral science is a must-have in your strategy for setting a shared vision and creating a shared game plan (one that Sales and Service can both get behind).


If it’s all an act, you can’t take action

In surveys and interviews, people know how to perform. Their goal is to meet expectations, maybe even to protect themselves. Intentionally or not, they don’t give you the accurate information you need to move your business forward.

Unless you use a tool designed to account for this behavior.

Survature’s behavior-enabled survey platform, for example, pulls back the curtain on the performance. You not only see how respondents rate different answer options—you get a behind-the-scenes look at how they prioritize the options. Together, these two dimensions mean more trustworthy, actionable data.

There are no one-person (or one-department) shows

One person or one department can’t do things alone and expect bottom-line growth. Let’s say an organization has set a new goal. Company leaders need to be able to communicate it and convince Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain, Distribution, Manufacturing, and other departments to adjust their day-to-day tactics and work toward that goal.

To effectively communicate and convince, leaders first need to know what’s important to each of these departments, what their pain points are, and most importantly, what will convert resistance to support. So how do they get this information?

You need to hear from the entire cast of departments

What if each department has one piece of the right answer to what it takes for the business to grow? That means no one department is wrong—they just don’t have the whole picture. Using 360 reviews at the department level pulls all the pieces together.

Using a survey tool grounded in behavioral science, leaders can ask each department what they need from every other department. Using the Survature platform specifically, this question would include a consistent set of 10-15 answer options.

There will typically be two or three things that determine the relationship between each department. For example, Finance may need information accuracy and completeness from Sales. Sales needs Service to be good at problem-solving and provide on-demand availability. Service, on the other hand, may desperately want Sales to do a better job adhering to process and stop backing the Service department into a corner with unreasonable timeframes.

360 degree other departments review sales

 

360 degree Sales evaluates other departments

Picture the insights

The benefits of behavioral science don’t stop once the questions have been asked. The Survature platform, for example, turns the data into a powerful visual narrative that reveals both the departmental pieces and the complete company picture.

This fits into many people’s “see it to believe it” attitude. As they see the good and the bad of how other departments view their own, they confront the existence of their own problems—the first step toward envisioning something better, together.

Now picture the outcomes

The time is then ripe for leaders to draw out the plan for addressing issues and meeting goals. They can more easily convince each department to play its role in the plan, like a star on stage, by improving its chemistry with the other departments.

The improved alignment between departments will set the stage for new revenue streams, sales growth, and increased efficiency.

And the process starts with behavioral science.

How will your organization or client benefit from behavioral science? We’d love to discuss the opportunities with you. All you have to do is click here to set up a phone call. We’ll be in touch with you soon!

Meghan McDonald is a Knoxville-based freelance writer with a bent for science and a love for art. Meghan received her MA in creative writing from the University of Tennessee in 2012 and has been writing for organizations that serve people through science and/or art ever since. She’s pleased to be writing with Survature, a company that brings together data science and design. Read more of her work at meghanmcdonaldwriter.com.