In this episode, we talk with Anurag Vaish, Co-Founder of TheFinalMile, one of the largest behavioral science consultancies in the world. TheFinalMile has offices in Mumbai and Chicago and we caught up with Anurag while he was in India in December of 2017.  Our conversation covered topics from how the unconscious influences our decision making, why organizations should do more testing of their ideas as well as the influence that Robert Cialdini, PhD had on Anurag.

We also discussed some of the projects that TheFinalMile has done – particularly the train safety project in Mumbai – which now saves thousands of lives every year.  It is a great example of the power that companies can have if they use good science and really focus on understanding what actually drives our behavior.  We followed some rabbit holes into how the human brain is lazy and the impact that environment and choice architecture have on our behaviors.  

NOTE: There are a few moments of bad internet connection where some words get jumbled; however, the majority is clear and we are grateful for that clarity being 10’s of thousands of miles apart when we spoke. 

In this episode, we spoke with Aaron Snyder, Director of Special Projects at Lexicon. Lexicon is one of the largest branding companies in the world.  They are responsible for creating some of the most famous household brands including Pentium, Blackberry, Dasani, Embassy Suites and Swiffer.  What we found interesting in our conversation was the tremendous amount of science that goes into the creation of brands. We also spoke about Mad Cow Disease, how tension = attention and even had a fun conversation about our choice of toothpaste. Lastly, we enjoyed some geeky discussion about research from Zakary Tormula and Baba Shiv. 

In this episode, we discuss the concept of justifiability with one of its earliest researchers, Scott Jeffrey, PhD. Scott was early among researchers, including Itamar Simonson at Stanford, to note that part of what makes a thing a 'reward' is its difficulty to be justifiable. In other words, the best reward is something that we would NOT justify spending our own money on. 

Scott took an interesting turn with his theme song and we had also talked about how employee engagement platforms are 'dollarizing' the relationship between the employer and the employee. Scott also brought up Max Bazerman's "Arguing with Yourself and Losing" model which coaxed a spirited discussion among us. 

Kurt and Tim grooved on holiday eats and lots of geeky stuff and skipped the 'what we're listening to' in this episode. More for later!

Chad Emerson founded The 421 to help people with addictions make better decisions. He focuses his comments on being "change ready" and the importance of preparing oneself for making a change in life. Chad's website www.the421.com includes more information about his Minneapolis-based agency and the work that he's doing to transform lives using behavioral sciences. 

In Kurt's and Tim's Grooving Session, we talked about the importance of considering how the application of behavioral sciences impact all of us - not just "them" but "us" too! We also discussed drop dead donuts and reminisced on some fun tunes.