Friday, August 29, 2008

Never, ever ignore a decision-maker’s psychology

Yesterday afternoon I got lucky.

At 4:01 pm CDT yesterday, after watching Intrade’s gyrations as GOP VP predictive market investors had Romney and Pawlenty positions fighting it out for the lead, I commented on this blog that a decision-maker’s psychology is critical to their decisions:

"I am reflecting on how decisions reflect the decision-maker’s psychology. If you were McCain the Maverick, who would you choose? The market leader or an outsider / outlier surprise?”

This morning’s news that Senator McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate in the upcoming Presidential election is a reminder to us all that we ignore a decision-maker’s psychology at our peril.

This reminder is especially important to law firm competitive intelligence professionals who support their firms’ business development efforts. CI professionals working in law firms should be able to develop psychological profiles of prospective clients, particularly those who make the final hiring decision.

And please don’t anybody freak out—developing psychological profiles is a common CI function. Heck, my mother and four sisters do this countless times each day. It’s also how Mrs. Marple solved all those mysteries.


Anonymous said...

For better or for worse (and at this point it looks like for worse) McCain's going with his gut / outlier decision has thrown the mainstream media, the news channels, and the blogosphere into turmoil. Probably the last thing the McCain campaign needs right now is minute examination of everything Sarah Palin has ever done, said or signed, and yet that is what is happening right now. What can she say tomorrow night, in her acceptance speech, at which viewership numbers may well exceed Obama's, given that all her statements and records public, private and otherwise maybe exposed soon (and many already have)? Tough spot to be in.

Ken_at_OI said...

Ann - You're spot on here. Understanding CI consumers' personality is critical - otherwise, CI practitioners risk taking great intelligence and delivering it in an ineffective manner. I think this is especially true in a partnership (not just law firms, but consulting firms as well) where personality make-ups, relationships and the like are so instrumental in strategy development, competitive response, and the like.