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Evolutionary Ideas

Unlocking ancient innovation to solve tomorrow’s challenges

By Sam Tatam
Cover of Evolutionary Ideas (Paperback) by Sam Tatam Cover of Evolutionary Ideas (Ebook - phone) by Sam Tatam Cover of Evolutionary Ideas (Ebook - tablet) by Sam Tatam

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About the Author

Sam Tatam

Sam Tatam is Global Head of Behavioural Science at Ogilvy. His passion is understanding human behaviour, and his experience comes from organisational/industrial psychology and advertising strategy.

From New York to Nairobi, Sam has led behaviour change projects across virtually every category and continent. Today, he leads a global team of talented psychologists and behavioural economists to ... Read more on Sam Tatam

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Jacket Text

When faced with new challenges, it’s easy to feel our solutions need to be equally unprecedented. We think we need a revolution. But what if this is a big mistake?

In Evolutionary Ideas, Sam Tatam shows how behavioural science and evolutionary psychology can help us solve tomorrow’s challenges, not by divining something the world has never seen, but by borrowing from yesterday’s solutions – often in the most unexpected ways.

Just as millions of years of evolution have helped craft the wing and dorsal fin, thousands of engineers, designers, marketers and advertisers have toiled to solve many of the problems you face today. Over time, through intent, design, social learning and sheer luck, we have found what works.

Armed with an enhanced ability to see these patterns in human innovation, we can now systematically approach the creative process to develop more effective ideas more readily and rapidly.

In the same way Japanese engineers reduced bullet train noise by studying the evolved biology of the owl and kingfisher, today we can see how Disney improved the queueing experience in the same way Houston airport made arrivals feel faster (while making people walk further). We’ll learn how the chocolate at the bottom of a Cornetto ice cream can improve an Error 404 message, and what a bowl of M&Ms has in common with a canary in a coal mine.

These are Evolutionary Ideas.

Exploring five of the most critical challenges we face today, we learn how to ‘breed’ more effective solutions from those that have survived. The result is a dynamic and exciting way of solving problems and supercharging creativity – for anyone in any endeavour.

Professional Reviews

“Sam Tatam connects theory with practical illustrations to make a case for the vital role of behavioural science in modern innovation. A wonderfully valuable book!” Nir Eyal, author of Hooked and Indistractable

“This book is fabulous and fascinating, teeming with insights about the psychology of innovation, not least that most innovation is not revolutionary but evolutionary.” Matt Ridley, author of How Innovation Works

“A provocative case for role of behavioural science in contemporary innovation.” Dilip Soman, University of Toronto, author of The Last Mile

“A hothouse of fresh insights, ready to invade your brain and take a life on their own.” Chiara Varazzani, Lead Behavioural Scientist, OECD

Media Coverage

The Human Risk Podcast

On this episode, I’m joined by Behavioural Science practitioner Sam Tatam whose new book Evolutionary Ideas shows how behavioural science and evolutionary psychology can help us solve tomorrow’s ...

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New Books Network

Sam Tatam's book Evolutionary Ideas: Unlocking Ancient Innovation to Solve Tomorrow's Challenges (Harriman House, 2022) explores five of the most critical challenges we face today, and we learn how ...

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The Drum

This week, Ogilvy’s head of behavioral science Sam Tatam has released a book called Evolutionary Ideas. Looking at five of the biggest challenges facing businesses today, the book looks at ...

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The Brainy Business

Today I am so excited to introduce you to Sam Tatam to talk about his fantastic new book Evolutionary Ideas. I got my first peek at this book so many months ago and I have been eagerly awaiting the ...

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Behavioral Grooves

Friend of the show, Sam Tatam is the author of a fantastic new book called Evolutionary Ideas: Unlocking ancient innovation to solve tomorrow’s challenges. Sam is the Global Principal and Head of ...

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