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All Washed Up with Hyrum Grenny

VitalSmarts’ most popular junior scientist, Hyrum Grenny, conducts a playful experiment to solve America’s hand-hygiene problem—a problem that leads to infection and avoidable medical errors. In fact, in America’s hospitals, hand washing compliance rates hover between 30 to 50 percent! Watch as Hyrum teaches strategy and principles to change behavior using a group of 80 unsuspecting kids and cupcakes.

Please share this video with your teams, organizations, friends, and family. To spread these powerful principles of influence, consider:

  • E-mailing this link to your colleagues:
  • Embedding the video on your blogs and Web site with the following code:
    <object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>

Would you like to solve hand hygiene problems in your organization? What about changing other entrenched behaviors that are returning dismal results?
Influencer Training is a step-by-step strategy for solving entrenched problems by changing behavior. Learn how you can bring this award-winning training into your organization today by calling us at 1-800-449-5989 or visiting our Web site.

Or, consider booking a VitalSmarts speaker to discuss principles of influence with your teams and organizations. For speaking information call or visit our Web site.

The ideas expressed in this article are based on the skills and principles taught in Influencer. Learn more about Influencer.

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40 thoughts on “All Washed Up with Hyrum Grenny

  1. I have read with great interest the comments in your article. I will apply these matters to not only my personal, but professional life as well.

  2. I really enjoy watching Hyrum’s work and expect to see him as the director/producer of a big Hollywood blockbuster in a few years. He is skilled at bringing complex psychological notions down to earth and show that they can be “child’s play.” Thanks Hyrum, I am just off to wash my hands!

  3. I loved this. I’ll be passing this on to our infection control committee chairs to share this with supervisors. We are always preaching handwashing to staff, especially at this time of possible H1N1 virus, but the principles presented for making any change are right on.
    This video is a delightful way to get a relevant message across to our staff.
    Thanks so much!

  4. I really enjoyed your experiment..
    I would have thought of trying peer pressure alone at first or after personal motivation, I wonder how much influence would it have been then? :)

    Very clever Hyrum.. keep up the good work

  5. I’m not sure why the link isn’t working for some people. The links is:

    It can also be viewed at:

    The video is uploaded to You Tube and many organizations have blocked You Tube. If you are having trouble viewing the video, it is most likely an issue with your organization’s filters. Try accessing it from home or another network.

  6. Still unable to access this video. I noticed when I clicked on the blank portion of text where they video should be is states movie not loaded is grayed out and About Adobe Flash player comes up. Has the format of the movie been changed from the original??


  7. I noticed in the washing of hands that the crevice in between the digits are not carefully washed. As I have experienced in washing both my kids hands, this is where most of the dirt and germs are trapped. I now wash these areas very carefully and can actually feel the dirt in these areas come off. Please consider including in videos

  8. I would like to share a funny memory. We were out to dinner at a nice restaurant with our 3-yr old daughter. While she and I were in the ladies room washing our hands another women entered, used the facilities and left the restroom without washing her hands (yep, we were in there a while washing hands). When we returned to our seats my daughter proceeded to stand on her chair to look around. Then she announced to the entire (very packed) restaurant – “there is the lady who didn’t wash her hands”. All the while pointing to the woman in question. The whole restaurant turned around to look. I bet they just couldn’t resist (and were secretly hoping she was not sitting at their table). I think that day we instilled some good hand washing techniques for many patrons. Hope this made you smile.

  9. I have taken the Influencer training and loved it – and use it! This video is absolutely a MUST SHOW! Thanks so much!

  10. We are interested in purchasing this as DVD or Video to use in training our staff in our Children’s Hospital. Please can you send us ordering information – Thanks so much

  11. Great video. I plan to show it to the nursing staff on two units in LTC. Can’t wait to see the reaction. I think they will enjoy it. I’d like to know all 6 influences of behavior change.

  12. I shared this with some colleagues a couple of weeks ago – then planned to show others today but it won’t play & says ‘This video is private’ which is odd as you invite people to share the video. Great video when it works – and I wouldn’t shorten it at all – adults enjoy the humour & I believe they are your target audience.

  13. I have heard alot of positive about this video and was hoping to view it to possibly use it at our facility. But the link does not exist anymore. Has it been moved?


  14. I myself wondered if the different motivators would have worked if done in a different order. As the social peer pressure seemed most effective in this situation was an experiment done using this as the first change? Either way well done. I thought the visual of the underwhelming solutions vs. overwhelming problem visual was good when the additional influences added on to creat more leverage to balance the two.

  15. I viewed this video at a conference last week and would like to share with staff. Unfortunately, I have been unable to view on my computer. Please advise.

  16. I have been training C Convertsa. since 2006??? I am wondering if there are plans to make a new training video? I know they are expensive, and I don’t know when this one was filmed, but the clothes, hairstyles and even the absence of modern technology are starting to make the current one look dated. I find this is a total turn off to learners. Just my 2 cents worth.

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