Review: Morten Münster – I’m Afraid Debbie From Marketing Has Left for the Day (S)

I’m Afraid Debbie From Marketing Has Left for the Day
How to Use Behavioural Design to Create Change in the Real World
Morten Münster

“Barack Obama used a secret competitive advantage to win two elections. Companies such as Google, Amazon and Novo Nordisk use the same insight to stir up innovation, increase compliance, improve the work environment and sell more products. And successful management groups in the C20 index have started using it as their preferred strategy. But what kind of insight are we talking about here? The answer is – behavioural design. Because people in the real world don’t actually behave like the people we build all our usual strategies for. We are opposing human biology and psychology when we insist that good arguments, burning platforms, classic change management, pamphlets, campaigns, and joint meetings are the way to go.”

This book hooked me right from the start with its engaging storytelling. The first section, “Misconceptions about the Real Work,” was packed with interesting studies, statistics, and stories that highlighted the importance of behavioral design. However, I didn’t really learn anything new from that section. Things went downhill from there, with less exciting sections that didn’t hold my attention. The ending was a bit of a letdown. It seemed like it was building up to a solution, but then it shifted focus to testing and case studies, which weren’t anything groundbreaking since they had already been discussed throughout the book. So, it felt like we circled back to the solutions section was the real end earlier on, which was anticlimactic.

The part about habits was vague and forgettable. If you’re interested in delving deeper into habits, I’d recommend checking out “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. The author covered a lot of different general topics but didn’t provide much actionable advice. It did give me some food for thought in some sections, but it lacked real-life business examples to make the ideas stick. I found myself getting distracted and not being fully engaged because it lacked depth. The author referenced a few other books which made it feel like they just re-told other stories.

One that stood out to me was “Made to Stick” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, which was mentioned a few times. I guess I noticed it as I read it. Overall, I’d say this book is good for people who haven’t read much about marketing or psychology. I’d give it three stars.

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