Working on habits: a follow up to SXC Barcamp Session


What happened in the Barcamp Session?

At this year’s Service Experience Camp in Berlin, we hosted a Barcamp session on a topic everybody can relate to. No matter whether you are a UX Designer, Business Analyst or Start up CEO, you probably experienced that some behaviours are difficult to keep doing regularly but some you show again and again although you don’t even want to.

In example at Service Innovation Labs face difficulties with daily stand up meetings. At the beginning of a project, everybody comes on time and the discussions are very fruitful. However, after two or three weeks it starts to fizzle out. Despite the clear benefit of this regular session it is difficult to keep it up.

This behaviour led us to reflect on habit creation. The Service Experience Camp turned out to be a great occasion and platform to dig deeper into the theory of habits and together with the ambitious SXC community understand how habits work and discuss how we could form them.

 Pitching our Barcamp Session

Pitching our Barcamp Session


So, how do we form habits?

Habit forming as well as habit breaking works in loops. Theese loops always consist of a trigger, an action, a reward and an investment to create a habit.  A quick example of breaking a habit would be: I would like to start jogging in order to be fit

Action: Jogging on wednesdays.

Reward: Feeling better and charged after the jog.

Investment: Buying a pair of shoes to continue jogging.

Trigger: Its wednesday evening.

Voila! You have a habit loop.


You can see our full presentation on Slideshare.


Barcamp discussion and outcome

After an input session on habit theory, followed a discussion, where everybody agreed on one point: you have to find your own way to create or break a habit as you know yourself the best! What helps the most is to be aware of all the steps of habit formation. After the discussion, in small groups we tried to hack into our unwanted habits or make a habit circle to form a new one.

The workshop brought various wishes to light. One group wanted to write a journal every day. Their reward: a sense for creating something that lasts forever, feeling of immortalising their memories. They thought one step ahead and wanted to invest in an app that could trigger their motivation into action. Others wanted to do more sports or stop smoking.

We would like to thnak everybody for a successful workshop, as we got some very motivating advices on how we can transform our daily stand up into a habit. Those are:

  1. Punctuality: If you decide to start at 9am, make it happen the moment the clock strikes Nine-o-clock no matter what.

  2. Responsibility: Make everyone responsible for some organisational part. For example: Person A makes coffee for everyone, Person B brings the white board and markers and Person C always gives an overview of the last meeting. You could also interchange responsibilities.

  3. Visibility: On a sheet, mark every time a successful stand up takes place. An overview is motivating to keep up the task.

We hope this helps whoever faces difficulty in forming habits. We are happy to hear more personal success stories or suggestions regarding habit formation.

Contributors: Carolin Thiem, Johanna Werz & Vaatika Dabra