Ever since Neil was exiled to the south of England at the age of five, he’s been a language geek.
He’s worked with businesses all over the world, and trained all kinds of people, from cabinet ministers to care workers.
Jim started out working with words, as a journalist and freelance writer. But the attraction of making things grow got the better of him. So he decided to combine language and business by setting up his own PR company.
Working with words and numbers worked for him. He sold his business to global agency Ketchum, and went on to run several others, including The Writer, buying and selling companies along the way.
What he liked most was helping people get the best out of themselves. He discovered the more he understood their behaviour, the more successful the business became. So the opportunity to combine behaviour, words and numbers at Schwa was a great fit.
He’s especially interested in how leaders behave.
As the resident psychologist, Adam is regularly asked if he is analysing the team’s behaviour. He sometimes answers honestly.
He has a degree in Experimental Psychology from Cambridge where he got interested in cognitive biases and understanding how they influence our reasoning, judgement and decision-making. After working in the City, he headed back to academia for an MSc in Behaviour Change at UCL. He’s particularly interested in finding ways to apply insights from psychology and behavioural economics to real-world problems.
His favourite heuristic (mental shortcut, normal people might say) is availability. Or at least it’s the one that always comes to mind.
When Hannah’s not writing children’s stories about giants and space pirates, she’s writing surprisingly sensible things for businesses.
Over the last ten years, she’s written websites, fundraising packs, recruitment campaigns and plenty of tone of voice guidelines. And one very happy afternoon many years ago, she ghost-wrote a letter as Colin Firth.
Hannah’s a behavioural science bookworm. She loves bringing the results she finds into talks and training sessions that she runs for businesses around the world.
Oh, and every book she’s read agrees with her that confirmation bias is best.
Before Nick was a writer, he was a reader. He filled every moment of his day with Terry Pratchett novels, the backs of cereal packets, road signs, junk mail and even those crinkly folded-up instructions that come in packets of Ibuprofen.
A little later on he got a job writing direct mail and online ads at BD Network, and then spent eight years at The Writer, helping brands like Sainsbury’s, Lynx and British Gas stand out through their tone of voice.
He’s particularly interested in the balance between long-term brand building and short-term impact. His favourite behavioural study is the one with the heroes, villains, chocolate and chili. And he still reads everything that’s put in front of him.
Rachel has spent a decade unwittingly combining the power of writing and behavioural science, first in PR and then marketing.
Always attracted to working with grown up start-ups, she couldn’t resist the chance to turn communication hunches into facts with Schwa. Obsessed with social psychology, Rachel highly recommends the Hidden Brain podcast and watching out for your natural urge to always be consistent.
Which means that her favourite bit of behavioural science isn’t a study, it’s the mental tricks the Chinese used on American prisoners of war in the 1950s.