The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

It happened over dinner this week.

I was out with some friends and friends of friends.

And I got into a conversation with someone I hadn’t met before called Jack, an artist.

We talked about his work and his inspiration.

Then asked me what I do.

And I began to explain Behave, what we do and what we’re trying to achieve — to use insights from the behavioural sciences to re-shape the world with people in mind.

We both agreed that human behaviour is fascinating.

Then he turned to me and said, “But by trying to pick it apart like you do, you’re just making it boring”.

Now, if you’ve ever read Dale Carnegie’s classic “How To Win Friends and Influence People” you’ll know the first principle is “don’t criticise, condemn or complain”.

You’ll know too that Carnegie owes his success to the very same thing that the best behavioural scientists are doing — turning insights into actions.

So I bit my tongue and moved the conversation on.

But it reminded me of a story Richard Feynman once told…

“The game I play is a very interesting one. It’s imagination, in a tight straight-jacket.” — Richard Feynman


Thomas Cornwall is the Director of Behave, London’s creative behavioural practice.