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Why Is Behavioral Science the Hottest Thing in Business? With Kelly Monahan

Paul Gibbons interviews Kelly Monahan on behavioral science in business

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Listen to our podcast on behavioral science and organizational change!

Behavioral science is super hot right now in the business world. If you follow me closely, you know that this topic is a passion of mine and makes up a chapter in my upcoming book, IMPACT (which will be available for pre-order on Amazon on April 1st, 2019).

I’m super excited to talk with today’s guest, Dr. Kelly Monahan, about behavioral science in business and her new, behemoth book How Behavioral Economics Influences Management Decision-Making: A New Paradigm.  

Dr. Kelly Monahan is a manager and subject matter specialist at Deloitte’s Center for Integrated Research. Her research focuses on the intersections of behavioral economics and talent issues within organizations. Prior to joining Deloitte, Kelly was an HR business partner supporting the CFO of Hartford Funds, and she holds her Ph.D. in organizational leadership with an emphasis in human resource development.

Dr. Monahan and I talk about why she decided to write the definitive text on behavioral science in business and what inspired her to start studying it in the first place. We discuss extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation and what’s better for employee’s health and performance; the psychological state of the workforce today; and how to apply behavioral science to organizational change and development. This episode is absolutely packed with information about the history of behavioral science and its ascent in the business world – it’s a great way to get up to speed on today’s hottest corporate topic.

I talk about two podcasts in the show – the one with Annie Duke, Thinking in Bets and with Daniel Blum, On the Bus Odyssey through South America.

Erratum: The Maritz with a CBO is a firm specializing in incentive schemes, and the CBO is Charlotte Blank. (I said it was an ad agency.)

What You’ll Learn about Behavioral Science from this Episode:

  • How retraining MBA students for the real workplace helped inspire Dr. Monahan to study behavioral science.
  • Whether extrinsic or intrinsic motivation is better for employees and their creativity.
  • Why the workforce is starting to demand more from their work.
  • How marketers have been using behavioral science for decades.
  • Why the business world is particularly infatuated with behavioral science right now.
  • How behavioral science can help managers build healthier relationships in the workplace and benefit employees.
  • What behavioral science means for management, habits, and cultural change.

I’m raffling off books every week for people who leave the podcast a review on iTunes. Let me know the title of your review to be entered to win by emailing me at

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