Everything we do at Brink is grounded in our theory of behavioural innovation, which combines aspects of behavioural science and psychology with aspects of practical and structural innovation.
We practice innovation that puts people first and aims to make dents in the world. Innovation that understands and adapts to human needs and human actions. Innovation for the chaotic messy reality of the real world and real human relationships that shape it.
We apply behavioural innovation through 3 themes: mindset, method and mechanisms.
🧠 Mindset: changing how people think about work
📎 Method: changing how people get work done
🏛️ Mechanisms: changing the cultures, processes and systems that work takes place in
➡️ More about mindsets, methods and mechanisms
Behavioural innovation takes account of real world circumstances, and changes as they do
The world of academic theory can often be very rigid. You see a lot of theories that state: if this thing is true, then that thing will happen.
It’s easy for organisations seeking change to grasp theories like that, in an attempt to make the change happen. Theories offer hope; they give teams, usually struggling for time and for funding, a ready-made plan to put into action.
The real world has real people in it
Theories are one thing, but reality is another.
Humans aren’t perfect. We’re not always rational. We’re not always sensible. We make mistakes. We’re fallible.
That’s why plans - no matter how well they’re researched, no matter how perfectly they’re laid out and prepared - often go wrong. Humans, with their messy imperfections, get in the way.
That’s not a complaint or a criticism. It’s just how humans work
We think it’s important for organisations seeking change to consider that reality. To plan for it. To adapt to it. Maybe even: design for it.
So let’s innovate like people matter
Brink sees the world for what it is: a beautiful, love-filled chaotic mess of wonderful humans, trying to do great things to benefit others, to build communities, to cope with climate change, to address inequality and unfairness.
That’s a world we want to be part of.
So we set out to apply creative, innovative thinking to projects that seek to make big positive change in the world.
We help teams and organisations look at things in a new light.
We coach and advise on new ways of working that encourage creative, frequent iteration.
We support you as you change not just what you do, but how you do it.
It’s innovation, but for a world where messy, chaotic, real-world human behaviour is something that makes a difference; where it’s something we should cherish and care for.
Behavioural innovation in action
We have case studies that show behavioural innovation in action:
- The African city working to make local tax payments easier for citizens
- Finding ways to re-use life-saving oxygen devices, and growing a market for new device designs that work in more places
- Rethinking ways of working at Oxfam America, so that it can make a bigger difference on poverty, inequality and injustice.
Brought together innovators to accelerate the development of new and innovative robust oxygen concentrators in low-resource settings
Transformed the behaviour and culture at Oxfam America, leading to radical new ways of working that would ultimately allow Oxfam to make a bigger difference in the world.
Challenged assumptions and introduced new ways of working at Matola Council in Mozambique, leading to ‘bureaucratic innovation’ right across the council and the creation of smart, user-centered services.