The 'IKEA effect' is reducing your impact
Here's how to use it to your advantage.
The IKEA effect is the idea that we place a higher value on products or ideas we help create or assemble.
For example, if you were to assemble an IKEA coffee table, you might value it more than a pre-assembled coffee table that you bought, even if the readymade one is of higher quality. This is because you put time, effort, and perhaps even faced challenges and learned new skills while assembling the IKEA one.
It’s a classic cognitive bias which can both hold us back, or can be used to our advantage:
Delegating tasks: because we often believe our approach is best (IKEA effect), most of us struggle to delegate outcomes (i.e. true delegation). We prefer delegating detailed tasks instead. This limits your team’s personal growth, and means you still need to do the heavy lifting and spend more time than you’d like. So the learning is to delegate more fully and grade whether the goal was achieved, not whether it was done the exact way you would’ve done it.
Improving team engagement: at Lexoo, we do a lot of contract review work for our clients, using contract playbooks. The IKEA effect means that if I just force a contract playbook on the team, they’re going to value it less than if they help co-create it.
Implementing change: The IKEA effect can cause resistance to change. If a team member has contributed to a current system or process, they might be hesitant to adopt a new one. We see this with our LexPlay contract playbook tool which we license to in-house legal teams. It’s a slightly new way of working, so we see best results if the people who designed the current system are also involved in adopting the new way. Otherwise they’re more likely to resist it.
I’m curious to hear any examples you may have come across, either whether it held you back, or where you could use it to your advantage!
Thanks for being here,
P.S. If you need help with any of these things, we’d love to help out :-)
Commercial contract negotiation: fixed fees + fast turnarounds. Work done by our in-house lawyers.
Contract playbook solution: create detailed contract playbooks in LexPlay (a smart MS Word plug-in) and:
Train up new and junior lawyers to a high and consistent standard.
Empower sales team to negotiate their own contracts.
Multi-country and repapering projects: such as localising T&Cs, employment contracts, answering regulatory questionnaires as well as Data Protection remediation (SCCs etc).