Community Strategy Insights

The latest insights on community strategy, technology, and value by FeverBee’s founder, Richard Millington

The Smallest Commitment Now

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

From the New York Times:

“Gordon Sinclair, the owner of Gordon restaurant in Chicago, had an epiphany about 10 years ago when he began adding up the cost of no-shows and found that the grand total was $900,000 a year, a figure that got him thinking, fast. […]

He instructed his receptionists to stop saying, ”Please call us if you change your plans,” and start saying, ”Will you call us if you change your plans?” His no-show rate dropped from 30 percent to 10 percent. In other words, by asking a question and eliciting a response, he created a sense of obligation.”

We’ve broadly found (although not always) small commitment pledges to be an effective tactic to change group behavior. People that resist making a big change today are more than happy to commitment to that change in the future.

Once they’ve made a commitment (either directly to an individual or to a broader group), they’re more likely to follow through. Instead of asking people to make a big change, ask them if they will perform the behavior in 2 to 3 months time.


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