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They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom

NixonMcInnessers will be Doing Something Different (DSD) every day over the next 6 weeks and we’re inviting everyone to take part.

DSD is a behavioural change programme designed by Professors Ben Fletcher and Karen Pine which directly tackles behaviours rather than thinking:

It encourages people to start by doing a small, fun, effortless, different action every day. It cultivates new ways of behaving without the need for willpower. It tackles people’s natural resistance to change. It chips away at their inertia. It can be integrated into someone’s daily routine and most importantly, because the changes are small, they don’t require willpower. Small though the changes may be, the differences in behaviour can be large.

We all have habits. We need them to help us process the massive amount of data our brains receive every second. What do we do when the alarm goes off in the morning? Which route do we take to work? How do we handle meetings? But not all of our habits are good: What we eat. How we spend our leisure time. How we handle meetings…

We have a programme of 30 of these small, different, fun activities and will be doing 1 a day, 5 days a week for 6 weeks. And we will be measuring the results in a controlled experiment by collecting information on our own behavioural repertoire and flexibility and seeing the extent to which these behavioural changes have impacted on a habit we would like to change. Even more exciting than this, we’ll be seeing what impact it has on our personal wellbeing.

Quite apart from the obvious appeal of a programme that can make us happier, we’re particularly interested in how organisations can use to change programmes to integrate both social media thinking and social media technologies.

Each day we will announce the DSD activity for the following day – Monday for Tuesday, Tuesday for Wednesday etc with Friday’s for the weekend.

Each DSD will be tweeted on our NixonMcInnes account and recorded on a tumblr so we keep a record of all the DSDs.

Our first DSD will be announced today, Wednesday 11 May, for our first one to begin tomorrow Thursday 12 May. So join in and let us know if it’s helped you become happier and wiser.

This post was filed under Working culture Comments are currently closed.


  1. Great idea and would make a good case study of ‘behaviour change’ (aka Social Marketing) as in the proper (!) defintion of Social Marketing rather than Social Media Marketing (see below)..

    Beth and Max attended the CIM Launch of the Social Marketing interest group back in Oct 2010 and I’m really keen to see demonstration of the use of Social Media tools in Socail Marketing.

    BRIGHTON is hosting the UK Social Marketing Conference on Nov 8th 2010 at Brighton University.This would be a great case study to present …or indeed any other Social Media in Social Marketing case studies that you have conducted.

    Really interested to hear the outcomes as I learnt recently at the World Social Marketing Conference that 95% of decisions are made in the UNconscious! – So we need to analyse our behaviours to help us understand what we are actually thinking (turns it all on its head really!)

    Couple of definitions of Social Marketing:
    1. Social Marketing is the systematic application of marketing, along with other concepts and techniques, to achieve specific behavioural goals for a social good
    2, Social Marketing is the planning, execution, and evaluation of programmes to influence the voluntary behaviour of target audiences in order to improve their personal welfare.

    Posted 11th May 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
  2. Hi Liz,

    We’ll definitely be along to the Social Marketing Conference in November – is there somewhere we can sign up yet?

    As we talked about at the CIM event, I’m really interested in the part social media plays in social marketing and effecting behaviour change. We’ve got a couple of case studies from work we’ve done with our clients, and I think the Do Something Different programme is going to be fascinating – in particular, being able to measure how it affects our well-being and whether social media tools help us make the project and any subsequent behaviour change sustainable.


    Posted 12th May 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink
  3. This is such a great idea and one that I’ll follow with interest. A few of us here are giving it a whirl too!

    Would be good to be able to add comments to tumblr to see/share what everyone is up to?

    Posted 13th May 2011 at 12:12 am | Permalink
  4. Paul Hutchings

    Good point Dan, was looking at that earlier and we’re on to it!

    And that is great news that you are giving it a whirl over there – would be really interested to hear how you get along.

    Posted 13th May 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink
  5. Paul Hutchings

    Comments now enabled on so you can tell us how you’re all getting along with it!

    Posted 13th May 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink