90 Key Recipes for Sustainable Behavior Change

Michael Kim training seminar in skills to perform positive health behaviors

Michael Kim, MPP, MBA

CEO & Founder, Habit Design

Maria Elena Lara, PhD

Principal Scientist & Investigator, Habit Design


As evidenced by the sold-out attendance of our 2016 Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference Intensive Training session, its 95% satisfaction rating, and this year’s conference theme to “identify the best ways to train people in the skills they need to perform new positive health behaviors”, there is clearly a great deal of interest in the role that habit formation plays in successful health promotion interventions and for good reason: 97.3% of Americans have not mastered the four critical healthy habits which constitute a “healthy lifestyle”, and the CDC attributes 80% of chronic conditions to this inability to form successful dietary, exercise, stress management, medication adherence, and other wellbeing habits, resulting in almost $1 Trillion in lost productivity alone, or on average $7,000 per employee per year. This cost is increasing more than 15% per year, outpacing the profit growth of many companies. Left unaddressed, few companies will be able to survive this silent killer.

McKinsey & Company identified that the biggest bang for the buck in behavior change is in facilitating habit formation; the majority of eighteen key behavior change genres are driven “largely by subconscious, or habitual, behaviors.” These largely subconscious interventions are also the most efficient compared to alternative approaches: $0.40 of every dollar spent on behavioral interventions is habit-focused yet drives 70% of total behavior change impact!

Scientific research now tells us that it takes much longer than just 21 days to form a habit; in reality, it can take at least 66 to 88 days or longer. Rather than artificially boosting motivation or willpower (e.g., through challenges, wearables, gamification, etc.) to spur episodic, temporary changes which usually wane after only a month, many behavioral scientists have concluded that mastering the neuroplasticity of creating subconscious, habituated daily routines is the core fundamental skill for any sustained behavior change. While motivation gets you started, it’s habit that keeps you going.

Featured by The New York Times, Society of Behavioral Medicine, Association of Behavior Analysis International, Health Enhancement & Research Organization, Stanford Medical School, many others, this two-day workshop covers best practices in the design of sustainable Behavior Change systems that have led to the successful training of unconscious, daily habits. Through a combination of interactive lecture, video case studies, individual and group exercises, online tools, and real-time smartphone polling, we will cover:

1. A synopsis of the best, most rigorously clinically tested, evidence-based Behavior Change research, distilled via easy-to-use, practical diagnostic tools

2. The building blocks of successful Behavior Change training that improves performance in small yet significant steps, with hands-on exercises and online tools that address real-world Behavior Change challenges

3. How to translate complex behaviors and training regimens into protocols that have high probability of becoming a permanent part of an employee’s daily routine

4. How to design, enable, and measure supportive environments and support systems that ensure Behavior Change is sustained and enjoyable

More than 500 companies and 100,000 employees – from organizations such as UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, Centers for Disease Control, Stanford Medical School, Boeing, Google, and even The White House – have been trained on this breakthrough method for developing sustainable Behavior Change. This training has averaged a Net Promoter Score of 9.1.

Presenter Bio(s):

A former Microsoft executive reporting to Bill Gates, Michael Kim was called by New York Times bestselling author, Jim Collins, “a leading authority in how organizations can create sustainable Behavior Change.” Mr. Kim served as a senior technology executive and strategic consultant to several organizational performance initiatives at Google X, United Healthcare, Apple, Group Health Cooperative (an affiliate of Kaiser Permanente), Nike+, Caradigm (a Microsoft/GE joint venture), WebMD, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, and others. He has served as policy advisor to The White House, advisor to the Chief Scientist of IBM, and advisory board member at the MIT Media Lab. His previous academic research was conducted at Harvard University under Professor Clayton Christensen, founder of the discipline of “disruptive innovation” and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, where their research results were referenced in Christensen’s Innovators’ Prescription.

After completing her PhD from Stony Brook University, Dr. Maria Elena Lara conducted her clinical internship at the University of Washington Medical Center and was appointed to the University of Washington Psychology department. Supported by The Ford Foundation, over her 20 year clinical and research career, she has supported organizational psychology and behavioral health initiatives at dozens of companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Costco, Expedia, and others. A member of the American Psychological Association, she was appointed by King County of Washington to advise the county’s multi-million dollar behavioral health initiatives. She is the only licensed, certified clinical psychologist certified to deliver Dr. BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits® program.