Here's an interesting question: can making something that most people refuse to do, that might be "good" for them, interesting or fun encourage behavioral change? Rather than lecturing you to eat your vegetables, could turning the situation around and making it fun or rewarding encourage you to do things that are good for yourself, or your community, or the planet?
Of course this is the carrot and sticks argument. I can sternly warn you to do what's good, or right, in my opinion and threaten you with punishment. In this regard I am using coercion to force you to adapt your behavior to what I wish, or what I believe is correct. Your reactions are self-evident. You unwillingly adopt the behavior when observed, but probably revert to old behaviors when not observed, and attempt to subvert the system whenever possible.
However, if I can change your thoughts or behaviors by engaging you in something rewarding or fun, you have made a conscious choice without threats. You are more likely to repeat that behavior and retain that behavior over time, and model that behavior for others. So, if this model is so much better, why isn't a carrots model used more frequently? I don't yet know, but I'm forming some opinions.
A new Volkswagen initiative sparked my interest in this topic. You can see it at The Fun Theory, a new website that supports a program to encourage people to modify their behavior through fun and rewards, rather than sticks and threats. My favorite is a set of steps that mimic piano keys and allow people who use the steps rather than an escalator to play a tune.
What if your health insurer placed stickers on apples and other fresh fruits and vegetables. If you purchased one of these at the supermarket you could enter a contest to win an award for healty eating. It would seem any behavioral change we might desire could be influenced through fun, amusement and games or rewards. Imagine a trash can that returns a ticket to a lottery each time you place trash in the can. There'd be little to no litter if people had an incentive to clean up their own litter, much less an incentive to pick up the litter of others.
This kind of thinking is important because we face an array of demographic and societal challenges, in addition to all the challenges in the business world. New thinking and new methods to encourage the best behavior and modify behaviors over time is welcome, and I think can be rapidly implemented.