Lessons from Volkswagen’s Piano Stairs: How Can We Make Things Fun & Change Behavior?

As a daily commuter to New York, I find myself on the train and subway a lot.  As a matter of fact I frequently post updates to my Twitter and Facebook accounts about my “commuter follies.”  The thing is, I make a conscious effort to take the stairs for a bit of exercise, and I frequently have them all to myself.  So this video really captured my attention and I hope it makes you stop and think for a moment too.

Volkswagon’s FunTheory is a brilliant idea.  If a behavior as simple as taking the stairs, instead of the escalator, can be changed simply by transforming the stairs into something as fun as a piano; what other positive improvements can be made by making monotonous tasks fun?

Yesterday, I was in a new business meeting discussing how we use energy and I was frequently thinking back to the “fun theory.”  It seems many companies my firm speaks with today are focusing on energy conservation and renewable energy to (1.) combat global warming, and (2.) promote the economic benefits of renewable energy.

Neither of these are fun, per se, however I am delighted with the challenge of brainstorming ways to make conserving energy exciting and to save the planet and save money.

For example, if your lights said “Thank you” and sighed with relief when you shut them off, I bet more people would turn off the light when they left a room.   FUN can certainly change behavior for the better.

Just a fun to thought to share with everyone on this beautiful Friday afternoon.


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