Stuart Jackson, CEO of ICE Creates, Stuart Jackson comes from a background in retail consumer behavior. Stuart and his team have experience working for companies such as Body Shop, Kodak, and HSBC. Along the way, they were asked to do a lot of public sector / engagement work.

The ICE Creates team found they really enjoyed helping the public sector. So in 2004-2005 they started delving into who they were as a company. Stuart says, “It was values-led, rich stuff.” Next they developed their own code of behaviors, including such rules as, “Never abandon a teammate. Always be responsible. Never interrupt work flow. Have fun, life is short. Enjoy our work as well as being good.” In 2007, Stuart met Jeff French, who was then running England’s National Social Marketing Centre and ICE Creates began using the term “social marketing.”

The following year they created a dedicated social marketing team, but by 2009, this team was becoming increasingly frustrated that organizations would want to see behavior changes appear in their citizens or customers, while the organizations resisted making changes themselves. For example, if research found that citizens needed help at 7PM, employees wouldn’t want to stay at work beyond 5PM. They’d say they wanted engagement and moving behaviors – but they weren’t willing to change their own behaviors to effect change. Stuart said, “We needed an ability to move an organization at the same time [as its target audience.] That’s how we formed the SoChange. That’s the crux of what ICE offers – it’s quite differentiated.” He added, “Few do the whole systems change.”

The Fire Risk Assessment Example of Organizational Change for Social Impact
In 1999, ICE Creates started working with the fire and rescue service in Birmingham on a home fire risk assessment. Some argue that all deaths by fire are preventable. And this area had a rate of 27 to 28 deaths per year.

The program was conceived as firefighters actually placing smoke alarms in people’s houses, because one of the biggest killers is the lack of awareness of a fire when you are sleeping. Whereas a smoke alarm wakes you up to save your life. In piloting the program with the first station, ICE creates said it required a sell to the firefighters, who typically signed up to be heroes and rescue people from burning buildings. Stuart said, “When you say now you’re going to go knocking on doors and do a quick safety assessment… you get a ‘get stuffed’ reaction.” In this case, an organizational change was needed. They changed the recruitment process to hire community-focused firefighters who felt if they never had to fight a fire again, they’d be in a better place. The program was local at first, but eventually was rolled out nationally.

Half a million homes have been assessed and protected this way in the past decade. While some might criticize the financial burden such a program can place on the state, Stuart says, “Fire deaths dropped to 3 or 5 the next year – that saves the economy millions.” He said it saved an estimated 1.5 million Euros by fire death on the local states. Further, in human terms, Stuart added, “How many families still have a mom, dad, child, today 10 years later?”

For more case studies, check out the ICE Creates explore page. 

Mixing “Think” and “Do”
ICE Creates provides a mix of “think” and “do” services. Stuart said this is an important part of what they offer. Rather than dropping in to think about solutions and then walk away, they bridge the gap by understanding the problem from the customer perspective. They consider the operational parts of the “think,” and then help implement or “do” the services in a sustainable way.

Since 2011, ICE Creates has offered health and lifestyle services as well, developing services for many areas. Stuart said, “Do we want to take over the world with health services? No, but we have a better understanding of what it is like to manage, and the flexibility needed.”

Deeper Research: 5 Levels of Why
While many companies say they do behavior change, deep insight, and mixed interventions, Stuart said, ICE Creates tends to dig even deeper. Stuart says that a lot of people in marketing investigate the “why and how” of behaviors, but he has found there need to be at least 5 levels of asking why. For example, in investigating alcohol consumption, getting the answer to “why” might begin like this:

How much do you drink?
-I drink 2 glasses of beer each night.
Why? 
-I enjoy the taste.
Why?
-It helps me relax.
Why?
-It helps me forget…
Why?
And once you’ve gotten to that level of why, Stuart says you can investigate interventions through the psychology of coaching. 

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You, too, can further incorporate "next level" behavioral insights into your own programs. For more information on this research process, see the ICE Creates Research Deck, which is also available for download on itunes. You can also manage your own social change efforts by using the STELamodel research tool, powered by ICE Creates.  

What tools are you using currently? How are they working for you? Want to share feedback for Stuart Jackson and ICE Creates? Let us know by sharing your comments below.