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HOW TO BALANCE
THE CARROT + THE STICK
4 lessons on balancing the roles of motivation and enforcement when reducing illegal activity
The topic of enforcement
typically surfaces early on when
planning projects that aim to reduce
incidents of illegal behavior, whether
it’s illegal fishing or driving without
using a seatbelt.
And often the question is:
Which do we need to tackle
to see results?
A lack of
enforcement that
is needed to
catch those doing
illegal activities?
The fact that
people continue
to conduct
illegal activity?
or
We need to
tackle both
The short answer is
In the following slides, I will touch upon 4 lessons I’ve learned about
the role of enforcement when promoting legal behaviors
#
ENFORCEMENT ALONE DOES
NOT EQUAL BEHAVIOR
CHANGE
Without a doubt, having a strong,
well-functioning, efficient enforcement
system is critical when aiming to reduce
illegal activity.
THE BENEFITS OF HAVING SUCH A STRONG
ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM INCLUDE:
Providing a visible
reminder that
Authority is
WATCHING
Consequences
for those who break the law,
sending a signal that the risk is real
and reinforces appropriate
behavior
Active protection
for areas under threat from
illegal activity, keeping the
area and its inhabitants safe
HOWEVER, ENFORCEMENT ALONE WILL NOT
CHANGE SOCIAL NORMS
Instead it can often:
•Threaten a current way of life
•Encourage sneakier behavior
•Exacerbate the “us versus them”
situation
BEHAVIOR CHANGE ALSO REQUIRES
MOTIVATION, through:
• Demonstrating ideal behavior
• Emotional triggers
• Social cues
• Benefits
• Confidence
Along with a slew of other things, like
infrastructure, legislation, systems, and
more.
SO, THE IDEAL COMBINATION INCLUDES:
A communication program that
promotes the social norm of acceptable behavior
improving enforcement of illegal activity
in conjunction with
Together, the communication program will spread a positive message about why adopting legal behaviors is
beneficial and enforcement will both catch the laggards and reinforce the norm (rather than purely just enforce it).
# ENFORCERS ARE PEOPLE
TOO
Enforcing rules, regulations, and the law
is not an easy job, especially if you’re not
getting paid very much or if the people
you catch doing illegal activity are part
of your same community.
PROJECTS ADDRESSING
A WEAK ENFORCEMENT
SYSTEM OFTEN NEED TO
PROVIDE:
• Equipment, resources, and
gear. Logistical items to make the system
run efficiently.
• as well as more personal provisions such as
skill building, communication
improvements, and increased
motivation.
SOME WAYS OF
MOTIVATING ENFORCERS
CAN INCLUDE:
• Providing an indicator of authority to
wear (a badge or uniform)
• Giving public recognition for when
they’ve done well
• Creating a feeling that they’re part of
something important (and bigger than
just “catching the bad guys”)
• Building greater confidence in their
abilities (such as ongoing trainings)
# SELF-COMPLIANCE IS THE
BEST FORM OF COMPLIANCE
Motivating, supporting, and
prompting the target audience to
adopt legal activities is more
cost-efficient and sustainable,
because…
As more people willingly stop doing
illegal activities, a new social norm
emerges
then the audience enforces and
reinforces the behavior themselves
which reduces the burden on the
enforcement teams (so they can
focus on other pressing issues)
# DON’T PROMOTE THE
RISK UNTIL IT’S REAL
It is tempting to promote the risk of getting
caught and fined as a main benefit to why
your audience should not engage in illegal
activity.
But don’t promote the risk until it’s real.
The premise of the “click it or ticket” campaign
was that youWILL get pulled over and fined if
you are caught driving without a seatbelt on.
When this campaign launched, the local police
department made a concerted push to have their
traffic cops on the lookout specifically for non-
seatbelt wearers, and people actually got pulled
over and ticketed.
Therefore, the campaign message was validated
as a real threat when people told their own
ticket stories to one another, reinforcing through
peer discussion the need to wear your seatbelt.
But if that campaign came out and there was no
enforcement effort, meaning people rarely ever got
caught by the police, then it would not have worked.
The audience would quickly realize that it was all
talk and no follow through, and it’s really hard for a
behavior change effort to rebound from a lack of
belief like that.
SO, IF THE TEAM IS NOT YET EQUIPPED TO ENFORCE THE
LAW
Then don’t include that message in your
communications campaign
Instead, focus on promoting the right
behavior
Once enforcement is running smoothly,
then you can assess if including messages
about the risk of getting caught will help
reinforce the desired social norm.
IN SUMMARY: BALANCE THE CARROT + THE STICK
Establish, encourage, and
reinforce what appropriate
and legal behavior looks
like…
…while improving a
weakened enforcement
system
THANK YOU!
brookes2cents.com
Click the “Join Us!” tab to get articles
on motivating change delivered to you!
brooke@brookes2cents.com
YOU CAN ALSO WATCH THIS
PRESENTATION!
just head to:
brookes2cents.com/webisode-carrot-stick/

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How To Balance Motivation and Enforcement when Reducing Illegal Activity

  • 1. HOW TO BALANCE THE CARROT + THE STICK 4 lessons on balancing the roles of motivation and enforcement when reducing illegal activity
  • 2. The topic of enforcement typically surfaces early on when planning projects that aim to reduce incidents of illegal behavior, whether it’s illegal fishing or driving without using a seatbelt. And often the question is:
  • 3. Which do we need to tackle to see results? A lack of enforcement that is needed to catch those doing illegal activities? The fact that people continue to conduct illegal activity? or
  • 4. We need to tackle both The short answer is In the following slides, I will touch upon 4 lessons I’ve learned about the role of enforcement when promoting legal behaviors
  • 5. # ENFORCEMENT ALONE DOES NOT EQUAL BEHAVIOR CHANGE
  • 6. Without a doubt, having a strong, well-functioning, efficient enforcement system is critical when aiming to reduce illegal activity.
  • 7. THE BENEFITS OF HAVING SUCH A STRONG ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM INCLUDE: Providing a visible reminder that Authority is WATCHING Consequences for those who break the law, sending a signal that the risk is real and reinforces appropriate behavior Active protection for areas under threat from illegal activity, keeping the area and its inhabitants safe
  • 8. HOWEVER, ENFORCEMENT ALONE WILL NOT CHANGE SOCIAL NORMS Instead it can often: •Threaten a current way of life •Encourage sneakier behavior •Exacerbate the “us versus them” situation
  • 9. BEHAVIOR CHANGE ALSO REQUIRES MOTIVATION, through: • Demonstrating ideal behavior • Emotional triggers • Social cues • Benefits • Confidence Along with a slew of other things, like infrastructure, legislation, systems, and more.
  • 10. SO, THE IDEAL COMBINATION INCLUDES: A communication program that promotes the social norm of acceptable behavior improving enforcement of illegal activity in conjunction with Together, the communication program will spread a positive message about why adopting legal behaviors is beneficial and enforcement will both catch the laggards and reinforce the norm (rather than purely just enforce it).
  • 11. # ENFORCERS ARE PEOPLE TOO
  • 12. Enforcing rules, regulations, and the law is not an easy job, especially if you’re not getting paid very much or if the people you catch doing illegal activity are part of your same community.
  • 13. PROJECTS ADDRESSING A WEAK ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM OFTEN NEED TO PROVIDE: • Equipment, resources, and gear. Logistical items to make the system run efficiently. • as well as more personal provisions such as skill building, communication improvements, and increased motivation.
  • 14. SOME WAYS OF MOTIVATING ENFORCERS CAN INCLUDE: • Providing an indicator of authority to wear (a badge or uniform) • Giving public recognition for when they’ve done well • Creating a feeling that they’re part of something important (and bigger than just “catching the bad guys”) • Building greater confidence in their abilities (such as ongoing trainings)
  • 15. # SELF-COMPLIANCE IS THE BEST FORM OF COMPLIANCE
  • 16. Motivating, supporting, and prompting the target audience to adopt legal activities is more cost-efficient and sustainable, because…
  • 17. As more people willingly stop doing illegal activities, a new social norm emerges then the audience enforces and reinforces the behavior themselves which reduces the burden on the enforcement teams (so they can focus on other pressing issues)
  • 18. # DON’T PROMOTE THE RISK UNTIL IT’S REAL
  • 19. It is tempting to promote the risk of getting caught and fined as a main benefit to why your audience should not engage in illegal activity. But don’t promote the risk until it’s real.
  • 20. The premise of the “click it or ticket” campaign was that youWILL get pulled over and fined if you are caught driving without a seatbelt on. When this campaign launched, the local police department made a concerted push to have their traffic cops on the lookout specifically for non- seatbelt wearers, and people actually got pulled over and ticketed. Therefore, the campaign message was validated as a real threat when people told their own ticket stories to one another, reinforcing through peer discussion the need to wear your seatbelt.
  • 21. But if that campaign came out and there was no enforcement effort, meaning people rarely ever got caught by the police, then it would not have worked. The audience would quickly realize that it was all talk and no follow through, and it’s really hard for a behavior change effort to rebound from a lack of belief like that.
  • 22. SO, IF THE TEAM IS NOT YET EQUIPPED TO ENFORCE THE LAW Then don’t include that message in your communications campaign Instead, focus on promoting the right behavior Once enforcement is running smoothly, then you can assess if including messages about the risk of getting caught will help reinforce the desired social norm.
  • 23. IN SUMMARY: BALANCE THE CARROT + THE STICK Establish, encourage, and reinforce what appropriate and legal behavior looks like… …while improving a weakened enforcement system
  • 24. THANK YOU! brookes2cents.com Click the “Join Us!” tab to get articles on motivating change delivered to you! brooke@brookes2cents.com
  • 25. YOU CAN ALSO WATCH THIS PRESENTATION! just head to: brookes2cents.com/webisode-carrot-stick/