Behavioral Economics Best Of Psychology

193: “There’s No Point in Doing a Favor for an Amnesiac” w/ Rory Sutherland

This episode marks our first serious foray into understanding why people do the things they do. Our guest, Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy and founder of Ogilvy Change looks at consumer behavior, media and communications through the twin lenses of Behavioral Economics and Evolutionary Psychology.

We sought Rory out because we believe the implications of his work go well beyond how to better sell consumer products and services. His is a powerful perspective for us to incorporate into our collective work elevating the procurement function in terms of the value we create, how we create that value and how we are perceived by our stakeholders.

Rory is one of the most interesting, irreverent and generous guests I have had the pleasure of interviewing. While this episode clocks in at about one hour and thirty minutes, I was so engaged with Rory’s ideas and how he expressed them that the time just flew by. I trust you have the same experience.

iTunesSubscribe | Rate & Review

“If you had a procurement function with the power, in other words, this is all about how the procurement function is incentivized really. And there needs to be what you might call a facility for measuring the upside benefits of spending more alongside the benefit of spending less. And when it’s done well and if it were incentivized well, it could be a truly magical influence on the business.” – Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy Change

Here are just a few of the things we covered in our conversation:

  • Rory’s working definition of Behavioral Economics
  • Blame avoidance/minimization
  • The drive towards conformity and how it undercuts our ability to create value
  • What procurement is solving for and why we may want to reconsider our goals
  • All value is contextual
  • Reframing the Procurement Brand
  • Innovation, relationships and the preservation of social capital
  • Updating incentive structures

Episode Transcript:

  • Email us directly for a copy of the episode transcript.

Links and Resources:

Books mentioned:

Research Mentioned:


Writings, Talks, and Podcasts:

Where to find Rory:

Thanks for Listening!


About the author

Philip Ideson

Philip Ideson is passionate about the role that procurement professionals and leaders can plan in creating competitive advantage for their organizations in ways that go beyond the traditional value proposition.

Philip founded Art of Procurement as a way for the procurement community to learn from each other, increasing the impact they have on their organizations. In 2017, he co-founded Palambridge, a virtual platform of procurement experts, technology, and intelligence. Palambridge provides a broad range of flexible procurement solutions, available on-demand.

Prior to Art of Procurement and Palambridge, Philip enjoyed a career that spanned the procurement value chain, working across three continents for organizations such as Accenture, Procurian, Ally Financial, Pfizer and Ford Motor Company.