Creating the Behaviors You Want is a PIC-NIC

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Creating the Behaviors You Want is a PIC-NIC

PIC-NIC is the name of a behavioral system model developed by Aubrey Daniels International that helps you understand the reasons people do what they do or what they may do in response to rewards.

The behavioral system model – PIC-NIC:

I can’t count the number of times sophisticated companies have implemented expensive performance programs only to find that they were paying large amounts of money only to reduce the effectiveness of their organization. This occurred as a result of negative behaviors that they were unintentionally motivating in their employees. Using the PIC-NIC models managers can support a proactive system that examines behavioral consequences and then acts on such knowledge.

It’s called PIC-NIC because the acronym somewhat describes the three classifications consequences P = Positive, I = Immediate, C = Certain and N = Negative.   You can strengthen or weaken behaviors with positive and negative rewards, respectively that have both immediate and certain consequences. Positive, immediate, and certain consequences (PICs), are the most powerful consequences that can be used to strengthen desired behaviors. Negative, immediate, and certain consequences (NICs) are the most powerful consequences that can be used to weaken behaviors.

Type Positive – will strengthen behavior;   Negative – will weaken behavior
Timing Immediate – while behavior is occurring;     Future – a delay of more than a few seconds
Probability Certain – always follow the behavior (high probability);     Uncertain – may or may not follow the behavior (low probability)

This method should seem familiar as it is what also works best in creating the behaviors you want with pets and children.

If the consequence to an action is delayed or does not happen consistently it will not be very effective. So, when implementing any reward system – whether it be for safety, environmental initiatives or operational business goals, consider which behaviors you wish to strengthen and weaken and develop immediate and certain positive or negative rewards respectively.

by Rob Pilz 2014, Copyright Revelation Business Solutions Ltd.

Thanks for reading article about PIC-NIC Related reading:

An article on PIC-NIC from Aubrey Daniels applied to safety, Understanding At-Risk Behavior

Blog article applied to children by Paul McGuire, Rewards and punishments – it’s all a PIC-NIC


One thought on “Creating the Behaviors You Want is a PIC-NIC

  1. Avatar of Fabian SzulanskiFabian Szulanski

    Just some more pointers to behavior design frameworks: BJ Fogg, Nir Eyal Hooked and Leo Babauta Zen Habits

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