How can behavioural science be used to enhance your businesses? Read our Q&A with Behavioural Science in Practice participant Susan Went, for an insight into the knowledge and practical skills she has gained from the course.
Can you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your career?
I am Susan Went and I live in London. I completed the WBS Behavioural Science in Practice course in June 2022. I have a long career in healthcare environments, as a clinician, service manager, Executive Director in NHS Trusts and national strategic roles in both England and Scotland.
I now work freelance as an ICF personal Coach, empowering individuals and enabling leaders to develop their potential and to move forward. I also work as a specialist Consultant in service and process improvement, using improvement science to deliver change and large-scale transformation programmes in complex settings. My Consultancy and Coaching services are bespoke. As a Coach and Consultant my focus is on the human aspects of change and complexity.
Do you have any past experience of Behavioural Science? What made you want to learn more about the subject?
I help people and systems change, and work to enhance quality outcomes. As such, I am familiar with some of the work in the field of Behavioural Science (Susan Mitchie and Ivo Vlaev). As a Coach and Consultant working in Change, I have become increasingly fascinated by the subject and curious to understand more about the current evidence base, the practice and the tools which experts have found to be useful.
Why did you choose to study the Behavioural Science in Practice course at WBS? What attracted you initially?
I have studied with Warwick University before and enjoyed the caliber of the course and the teaching. This, plus the easy access to the programme at The Shard, London was what drew me to the course. The course was offered on a face-to-face basis, and this also appealed to me after so many months of virtual contact.
What were your personal highlights from the course? Was there a particular day or session that stood out?
All three days were great, with theoretical learning and practical sessions spread throughout each day. The sessions which stood out for me were ‘The Ethics of Nudge and the Ethics of Testing’ and ‘De-biasing Decision Making’. Both topics encouraged discussions and debates on the day, and created food for thought afterward.
It was definitely useful to bounce ideas around in discussion, in breakout groups and in practical sessions. The course brought together an eclectic group of people, who had a wealth of experience in different settings, fields and countries. It was a privilege to learn and share with them.
What impact do you think the course will have on your career going forward? What learning from the course do you think will be most applicable to your job role?
I have an increased understanding of the subject and more up to date awareness of the evidence base, which is important to me and my practice. Although not all of the evidence has been tested in healthcare, the learning and the tools will help me to frame things differently and will add to the techniques available to me when designing change programmes.
In your opinion, why is Behavioural Science important? Should all leaders look to implement it within their organisation?
Behavioural Science helps us to understand why people do what they do. As such it is helpful for leaders to know something about the approaches, and the evidence base. There is still a great deal which is unknown about how to optimise interventions, but as knowledge and experience spreads, new learning will emerge.
Why should someone join the Behavioural Science in Practice course at WBS?
It’s a short three day course packed full of learning, with the opportunity to apply the tools to a real problem that you are facing. The tutors were generous with their time and flexible with the programme so that individual questions and experiences could be shared.
I recommend the course for anyone wanting to know more about Behavioural Science and how these interventions can be applied in various settings.
Find out more about our Behavioural Science in Practice programme.