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This weeks influence secret is so powerful it gets people to do stupid things.

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People love free stuff. But we all know that and it’s not really a secret even though it’s powerful.

This weeks secret is inspired on the news today about businesses getting unexpected deliveries of fridges. In many cases 15 fridges.

Fridges they don’t need or want. By all accounts the fridges are also very poor quality and don’t get cold. That last part is brain melter.

So what’s going on here?

Well it’s some type of Government energy saving program in the state of Victoria where I live.

I guess the aim was to replace old, energy demanding, fridges with less energy sapping new ones.

But because it was designed by Government they got the practical implementation wrong.

You see it’s set up to reward installers of the fridges. The more they install the more money they get.

This is what I refer to a perverse incentive. Because it encourages the wrong behaviour.

In Australia we’ve seen many programs like this over the years.

But the influence secret to take from it is this.

What you incentivise gets done.

So if there is something you want find a way to incentivise that thing.

It can be as simple as the coffee card where you get a free one after buying a certain number of coffees.

Just remember to ask yourself how it will work in practice.

No one needs another ‘free fridge’ disaster.