Camp – Boot Camp’d Anthrocubeologist

boot camp_dog tagIn June 2012 @BJFogg hosted his two day Behavior Design Boot Camp for ten people from around the world. This anthrocubeologist was one of them. Graduating from Fogg’s boot camp means not only being prepared to apply the skills and insights shared and learned about behavior design but also seeing the world differently – very differently. It means beginning the lifelong learning of being a master of behavior design. For me, it also means continued self-reflection to create, share, and evolve anthrocubeology. And as known by all graduates of Fogg’s boot camps, it means being able to explain Fogg’s behavior design model within two minutes.

My Boot Camp Experience

One instructor, two days, ten people, food, information, discussions, and self-reflection. Objectively speaking, this could describe my boot camp experience, but there’s more.  One instructor, BJ Fogg, who had been named in 2008 Fortune Magazine’s 10 New Gurus You Should Know, spent two days with ten people – people with very different backgrounds from different parts of the world converging in Northern California over food and drink, all the while exchanging unique conversations and interactions.

Notes from Fellow Boot Camper

Thanks to Ryan Wynia (@ryanwynia), a fellow boot camper, for sharing about his persuasion boot camp experience. For context, Ryan describes himself as an experience designer operating at the four-way intersection of design thinking, human behavior, technology, and systems thinking. Ryan authored three articles for the Technori community that very much (and very well) sum up the shared boot camp experience –

– not only for describing the framework, activities, several references, and discussion topics during our two day experience but also expressing the value of this experiential boot camp.

_fin tube fogg
ChemE-izing Cubeopolis

In Ryan’s final notes, he shares “seven pieces of advice BJ offered up that behoove a modicum of skepticism”, as well as Ryan’s thoughts on “eight more behavior design takeaways … center around using reinforcement to shape behavior.”  With Ryan’s craft as an experience designer, his thoughts and insights are very thought-provoking. (Once again, thanks much to Ryan.)

The ChemE In Me. Meanwhile, I brought my ChemE lens. We all brought our own background and life experiences to boot camp. This shaped how each of us processed boot camp learnings.  After reviewing my red pocket moleskine with notes taken during boot camp, Ryan’s boot camp day 1 closing soundbites resonated with my latent ChemE –

Geography (context) is a huge predictor of a particular behavior’s success

Thermodynamics. I drew this fin-tube heat exchanger to begin to illustrate that cubeopolis – the workspace – is part of a larger community. (More on this topic in future anthrocubeologist’s posts.)

On Becoming a Boot Camper

It begins with having an interest in behavior design and contacting BJ Fogg for this for-fee event. There is an application process which involves articulating your interest and ideal outcome a year from the boot camp.  After speaking with BJ Fogg’s colleague and BJ, and learning that I was no longer was on the waiting list, I committed to pay for the June 2012 boot camp (which, by the way, was just one week after the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership annual conference).

Excerpts from my application included –

“… to learn/understand more about behavior (one-on-one, one with many, many with many) within the context of workplace (and workspace) interactions. … believe that values, choice, and behaviors are core to positive/productive interactions … further my anthrocubeology thought process … without going back to school … help individuals be involved in work/vocation that is fulfilling, that serves many, and that addresses/minimizes pettiness in the workplace … be able to differentiate this from corporate anthropology and other traditional organizational management approaches that focus too much on management.  founder of anthrocubeology, along with others who share similar perspectives to help individuals (and organizations). outreach would include writing, consulting, speaking, and performance. … “

And the rest is part of an anthrocubeologist’s history.

June 2012 Persuasion Boot Camp with BJ Fogg
June 2012 Persuasion Boot Camp with BJ Fogg

“Your bootcamp covered a lot of material, but I never felt overwhelmed. In fact, I felt energized.”


5 thoughts on “Camp – Boot Camp’d Anthrocubeologist

  1. So SFR, I cannot imagine a more appropriate endeavour for you than to help us better understand “anthrocubeology”. I do appreciate the interaction of culture and cubeville, to coin a Dilbert phrase. You need to come down and have a glass of water at the R.O. faucet (replaces the water cooler of course). We can discuss “techno-isolationism”, cultural impacts of soft foam figures atop cube walls which may be hurled at random, and the occasional nitrous oxide molecule that actually might be beneficial to the environment. Miss you!!!:) PS – Your latest entry is a bit dated; you might need to give that Stanford fund some more money!

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