Behavioral Grooves Podcast

Covid-19 Crisis: Michael Boden on How Field Sales Reps Are Adapting to the Crisis

April 17, 2020

Michael Boden is the Head of U.S. Crop Protection Sales at Syngenta, a global agrochemicals and seeds firm based in Basel, Switzerland. He joined the company in 1986 and has held global sales and marketing positions throughout his career.  Michael grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, and is currently based in Syngenta’s North American headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Michael shared a vivid image of his business: it’s what he calls belly-to-belly relationships his reps and agronomists have with growers (farmers), retailers and distributors. He also shared an insight about the need for corporate redundancy that was refreshing to hear from a business leader, rather than an academic.

Also, an interesting part of our grooving session was about Robin Dunbar’s research on the importance of physical touch and proximity and trust. We also asked the question about work-life balance and is it possible that we are redefining, in ways not seen since the industrial revolution, what work-life means.

He left us with these four tips for business leaders on making it through the crisis:

  1. Keep people safe – the heroes will stay safe
  2. Leverage technology – don’t fear it
  3. This will pass – and be patient
  4. Enjoy the exercise

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves


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General Coronavirus Info:

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Great videos on the science behind this by Dr. Peter Attia – this is the first in a series:

What is herd immunity?:

A list curated by [email protected]


Coronavirus & Behavioral Science:

Selected Links: The Behavioral Sice of Coronavirus:

Why no one is reading your coronavirus email:

Handwashing can stop a virus, so why don’t we do it?:

The behavioral science of handwashing:

Ideas 42: The Behavioral Side of COVID-19 here:

Greater Good:


How We Can Cope During This Crisis:

Tip Sheet from HUMU:

Resources for learning at home:


General Behavioral Science Links:

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Jonathan Haidt – 5 Moral Foundations:

Annie Duke’s “How To Decide”:

“16 Ways To Promote Hand Washing With Behavioral Science” article by Aline Holzwarth:

Aline Holzwarth’s Playlist on Spotify:

Deontological and Consequential Moralities:

Difference between descriptive and injunctive norms:

Emotion Research from FinalMile:

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