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How Tribe brings sticky storylines to the stage

Last month, Tribe consultants took to the stage at the UK's premier health and safety show,  ’The Health and Safety Event ’, with one of our engaging solutions to change behaviours, the  the gameshow, ‘Would you believe it?’ 

Here’s an article featured in Health and Safety Matters magazine, the official show guide.  

Creative Consultant, David Mansell, and Culture Change Consultant, Scott Hassall, reveal Tribe Culture Change’s engaging health and safety gameshow format being presented at this year’s Health and Safety Event and why 'stickiness’ works…  

Get ready to challenge perceptions, debunk myths, and distinguish fact from fiction in Tribe’s interactive gameshow, ‘Would you believe it?’ being presented on the first day of the UK’s premier Health and Safety Event at the NEC on Tuesday 30 April, in the Knowledge Exchange theatre at 12pm. The session format is a fun game that involves uncovering the truth from a web of anecdotes and tales.   

Former TV script writer and Tribe’s Creative Consultant, David Mansell, will lead the proceedings as the gameshow host, interviewing a panel of quick-witted consultants including Tribe’s own culture change expert, Scott Hassall.   would you believe it live

The team will be sharing stories from across 20 years of experience in leading businesses through culture change. But it’s up to the audience to determine which of the stories are true. 

“It’s not designed to be obvious, but we do want people in the audience thinking, ‘that can’t be true’? Almost the more far-fetched the better,” reveals Scott. “People often say, ‘There's no way that could happen!’, but these are issues and situations we often see before we help companies change and improve.”   

Playing the game  

The stories presented will show how workplace culture, as well as individual actions and influence, can either lead to incidents or drive significant improvements.   

When the true answer is revealed, a detailed explanation will draw out the lessons that can be learned from each story, prompting the audience to think critically about safety behaviours, hazards, and best practices.   

“The idea is that people will watch it and recognise their own situations and behaviours within the workplace and how they might be hazardous,” says Scott. “When previously they might have ignored or downplayed a potential incident, instead they will realise that actually it can be quite serious and take on board the changes in their own behaviour.”  


Making messages sticky 

Tribe know that people are more likely to remember information being shared or spoken about when it is presented in a compelling narrative or accompanied by vivid imagery. When it’s memorable, it 'sticks’ and creates a long-term change. 

A robust safety culture is built on a foundation of trust, transparency, and shared responsibility. Stickiness plays a pivotal role in fostering this culture by creating a common language around safety, encouraging open dialogue, and reinforcing the importance of individual accountability.   

Creative Consultant, David explains what he draws upon when conjuring up a message and how to make it sticky.  

“There are many different ways to make a behavioural change stick,” explains David, “simply because many people’s brains work in different ways. Some people might be affected by a powerful emotional film, while someone else might be impacted by something interactive.” 

The idea of a health and safety gameshow is for the stickiness to extend beyond a laborious Powerpoint presentation that people might switch off from. Instead, the audience will remember it which will reinforce the health and safety messages long after the event.  

Scott adds, “When you consider the Generation Game where contestants had to remember the prizes on a conveyor belt, people doubt themselves and think they will only remember five or six points or prizes, but under pressure, it’s actually more like 20.”  

Storytelling sticks 

The same goes for telling stories. When a safety message resonates with workers on a personal level, they are more likely to embrace safety as a core value rather than a set of rules to be followed.   

sticky story

“People tend to remember things that affect them emotionally more than they do lists of rules and guidelines or simply being told, ‘Do this, don’t do that’,” says David. 

Scott adds, "If I told you a story now and then asked you in a month, ‘Do you remember I told you that story?’ You would be able to recite me some of the details remembered. Whereas if I just read off information from a sheet of paper or sent an email, it’s less likely you would remember it. You might even delete it.”  

Spreading the safety message 

While remembering the message of sticky communications is the first priority, a successful outcome is when people keep the safety conversation going and share what they have learnt. This demonstrates the impact the message has had on its audience. 

 “We want people to say, ‘I cannot believe somebody did that,’ and take the conversation into their own workplaces,” Scott says. “It’s not just about what they have heard, it’s about sharing it with others and applying it to not just their own behaviour but their teams too.”  

By nurturing positive associations created through participation and hopefully some fun along the way, not only will people remember it and talk about it, but in turn it draws a focus on their own behaviour and into making safer decisions.

The science of safety 

At the heart of sticky culture change lies the psychology of persuasion and ability to influence behaviour.  

“We’re fundamentally trying to change people's thoughts and feelings to change their behaviour,” says Scott. “We don't want them to have to see the consequences of negative behaviour to make a personal change. That is the whole point of why we do what we do.”   

By incorporating storytelling, visual elements, and emotional appeal into a culture change journey, the messages highlighting the desired behaviours and values will resonate deeply with the audience.  

“Film works particularly well as a medium for culture change as it’s so visual and immediate” says David. “If you can get the right story, one that is emotional, then it becomes much more sticky and therefore more memorable.” 

Catalyst for change 

Whether it's a powerful testimonial from a colleague or a thought-provoking visual depicting the consequences of unsafe behaviour, all sticky communications serve as catalyst for change. 

By tapping into these principles and fostering an emotional connection with workers, it makes health and safety more relatable, easier to recall and in turn, will change behaviour to create a better safety culture.  

“It’s all about having an impact on your audience and making them feel something, and then they will remember it a lot longer, sharing it still in years to come, changing not only their behaviour but others’ along the way too.”  

Get stuck in: Join Tribe for their gameshow ‘Would you believe it?’ at the Health and Safety Event in the Knowledge Exchange Theatre at 12pm on Tuesday 30 April. 

Five ways to make your culture change stick  

  1. Tell a story: People remember stories much more than information. Hearing a story switches people into problem-solving mode and lets them imagine new possibilities while combating scepticism. While a statement invites people to judge, debate, and criticise, a story involves people in an idea and is far more engaging.  
  2. Use visual aids: Images, videos, posters and virtual reality provide the brain with a picture to recall when under pressure or making decisions. Through recognising a scene or image and the outcome of the scenario that was previously depicted, it can influence an alternative safer decision.  
  3. Include real life examples: People won’t remember a bland offloading of rules and regulations but by using real life examples to articulate a culture, it makes it more relatable. To see the result of how behaviour and decisions have affected others and not just hypothetically, the message remains more credible because it is not imaginary, it has occurred.  
  4. Tap into people’s emotions: We are more likely to recall something that creates a reaction. A message that inspires a response, be that either happy or sad, is not only more likely to be remembered but also shared. Drawing on empathy and emotion makes people evaluate ‘what’s in it for me?’ and makes it easier for people to make the right decision.  
  5. Make it interactive: Interactive activities such as games or quizzes can help to engage your audience. Through involving those in the learning seat, both physically and mentally, the brain is more likely to recollect a behaviour they have played out before, be it make believe or otherwise.  

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