Inclusion Nudges – Guidebook. Lisa Kepinski & Tinna C. Nielsen

Published on: Thu 18 February 2021 by Paula Whelan

Score: 9/10

Biggest Takeaway:

  • The Intention / Action Gap – whilst we intend to be inclusive our quick thinking can lead us to make assumptions that result in us behaving in a way that excludes people; this is often unintentional.
  • The power of Inclusion Nudges – inclusion nudges target the unconscious part of our brain and trigger changes in behaviour; going beyond individuals simply having an awareness of what unconscious bias is and how it influences our behaviour.
  • 100+ Practical examples – these wide ranging examples can be used face to face and virtually; a great addition to team meetings to promote inclusion and positive behaviour change.

Who should read it:

This book is a must read for Leaders, Managers, Diversity & Inclusion specialists, and anyone who wants to embed Equality & Diversity and achieve a culture of inclusion within their organisation / business.

“To promote behavioural change and improve decision making for inclusive outcomes, we must as change makers target the subconscious mind more than solely the rational mind” – Lisa Kepinski & Tinna C. Nielsen

The book highlights the challenges faced in achieving changes in behaviour and provides very useful practical examples to support those trying to bring about change and create an inclusive culture. It is a resource filled with practical examples of behavioural nudges to increase diversity, mitigate bias and create a culture of belonging.

Intention / Action Gap

Kepinski & Nielsen suggest that the default in our brains is exclusion rather than inclusion even though we all believe that we are open minded and fair. They draw on Daniel Kahneman’s concept of Fast and Slow thinking highlighting that “there is a gap between the two interdependent modes of thinking in our mind” and as a result there is a gap between our perceptions and quick judgements, which often goes against our values and our intentions to be inclusive. They argue that having knowledge of this is not enough

The Power of Inclusion Nudges

Whilst there is a drive across organisations to become more inclusive, the influences individuals are exposed to are forever increasing and impact on perceptions, attitudes and decision making. Access to technology and social media platforms is, arguably, leading us to draw on our Fast-Thinking system of the brain much more – for example if we want some information, we can simply ask Google, Alexa, or Siri. This requires us to make a conscious effort to use our Slow Thinking system more often.

Telling someone that they have unconscious biases and providing tips for mitigating these biases is not sufficient for people to make changes in their behaviour and perceptions. Inclusion Nudges bridge the gap between what individuals intend and how they behave.

100+ Practical Examples

The practical examples are based on the science of how our brains work; they focus on behaviour change as well as systems change. The instructions are clear, and the activities are adaptable and can be delivered virtually or in person.

The examples are divided into three areas – if people see the need for change rather than being told that they need to change, they are much more likely to make a difference; making inclusion the norm without talking about inclusion and reframing to change perceptions.