From Good Intentions to Positive Actions

Mar 1, 2016
In his book, The Power of Fifty Bits, Dr. Bob Nease highlights the science of activating good intentions to improve behavior in healthcare and beyond.

Bob Nease

Last year, Americans spent nearly $60 billion on diets and another $45 billion on exercise and fitness. The result? Two-thirds of American adults are still overweight or obese, and one-third of children are right behind them.

We’re late changing the oil in our cars. We swear we won’t wait until the last minute to do our taxes or turn in our term papers. We cement our intentions to get into shape by buying treadmills and elliptical machines...the majority of which wind up as clothes racks for the outfits we wish we could squeeze into.

The fact that people make lousy decisions and behave badly is old news. In a few short years, we have been tipped, blinked, nudged, switched and swayed into admitting to ourselves and to others that we are more like Homer Simpson than we are like Mr. Spock. (Our parents and grandparents could have told us as much, and probably did, if we’d only been paying attention.) The question is no longer whether people are rational. The evidence is clear, the jury is in and the bestseller lists have settled that question. We are not. The question is: now what? What practical solutions can marketers, human resource professionals, teachers, parents and other real people use to improve behavior?

I wrote The Power of Fifty Bits to definitively answer that question.

My work at Express Scripts required me to distill the complex science of human behavior into a handful of principles that our 30,000 employees could put into practice. In addition, I oversaw the implementation of those same simple principles into health-related programs that touch nearly a hundred million Americans.

The Power of Fifty Bits explains in simple terms how our brains – and thus many of our behaviors – reflect the instinctual and automatic systems that served us so well long ago and faraway. More importantly, it will arm you with seven specific and proven strategies to improve behavior. Using accessible, entertaining, and relevant stories and examples, I’ve written The Power of Fifty Bits to be the world’s first “how to” field guide that you can use to powerfully advantage better behavior for you, your loved ones, your coworkers and your clients.

Excerpted from The Power of Fifty Bits: The New Science of Turning Good Intentions into Positive Results by Bob Nease. Copyright © 2016 by Bob Nease. Provided courtesy of Harper Business, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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