One of the first to use the visual world to navigate numbers was Florence Nightingale.<br />
Although better known for her contributions to nursing, her greatest achievements were mathematical. She was the first to use the idea of a pie chart to represent data.<br />
Nightingale's diagrams were designed to highlight deaths in the Crimea<br />
Nightingale had discovered that the majority of deaths in the Crimea were due to poor sanitation rather than casualties in battle. She wanted to persuade government of the need for better hygiene in hospitals.<br />
She realised though that just looking at the numbers was unlikely to impress ministers. But once those numbers were translated into a picture – her Diagram of the Causes of Mortality in the Army in the East – the message could not be ignored. A good diagram, Nightingale discovered, is certainly worth 1,000 numbers.
What seems to be going on is this: people are convinced by the arguments until they see that the source of the message can't be trusted. But people don't tend to process the discounting cue very thoroughly. So, over time, people forget they discounted the information and the content of the persuasive message, which was processed thoroughly, does its devilish work.
I like this from Christoph.
remember the study of Dr. Robert Cialdini, in which he left three different messages at doorknobs to see if they had an effect on the energy usage of recipients:
1) Save energy to save the world
2) Save energy to save money
3) Save energy because your neighbours are doing it already
Only the third note seemed to have a significant impact on the behaviour of the people. These three notes could be translated in a business context as follows:
1) Contribute and share information to make our organization better
2) Contribute and share information to gain some sort of financial reward
3) Contribute and share information because your peers are doing it already
The trick I suppose is to make those peers visible.