Selling IA, learning from MBAs

At George‘s repeated suggestion, I subscribed to Harvard Business Review. The latest issues seemed to be to be […]

At George‘s repeated suggestion, I subscribed to Harvard Business Review. The latest issues seemed to be to be extremely useful to “innies” trying to effect organizational change. The first is Harnessing the Science of Persuasion (note, these article you have to pay for, either for download or by hiking into a magazine store. perhaps you can read it for free at borders.). The second is Radical Change, the Quiet Way.

Something we as IA’s don’t often do enough of– considering politics and human behavior outside of our design techniques. But we should be very good at making change happen within organizations… after all, we are good at getting customers through check out, or to the article they were looking for. maybe it’s time we pointed our brains at this problem with the same systematic analysis we give to an interface or taxonomy.

Finally an interesting note in the Radical Change article: it mentions strategic losing of your temper as a tool. This strikes me as something more easily played out as an innie, but nonetheless. I was watching Maltese Falcon again last night, and got to my favorite scene– Bogart is verbally fencing with Sydney Greenstreet– both want the other to reveal what he knows, both don’t want to give up his own knowledge in exchange. The conversation runs along the lines of

“I distrust a close-mouthed man. He generally picks the wrong time to talk and says the wrong things. Talking’s something you can’t do judiciously, unless you keep in practice. Now, sir, we’ll talk if you like. I’ll tell you right out, I’m a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk.” — Greenstreet as Gutman

In other words, the conversation goes round and round. Sound like you talking to your manager?

Finally Bogart leaps up furiously, throws his glass down shattering it and accuses Greenstreet of wasting his time. He grabs his coat and hat and storms out. In the hall we see him grinning broadly… it was all a sham. Though his hands are shaking with the stress of the gambit.

If done judiciously, a show of genuine emotion can be effective in cutting through cycles of pointless repetition. maybe it’s a flare of temper, maybe it’s just a heart-to-heart, where you tell your employer you are deeply frustrated. And maybe your hands will shake after, like Bogart’s… but maybe, like Bogart, you can break the cycle of repetition and inertia.

Anyhow, good articles, check ’em out.


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    paper. one day a solictation came in the mail wiht a deal and a free gift, and I said to myself, well it’s tax deductble.

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    I also liked the Torment Your customers article, Your Net IT Strategy, and Boost Your Marketing ROI with Experimental Design. Informaiton management and structure is becoming ever more important. The experimental design took me right back to advertising target analysis from school and direct mail package variation tracking from the real world. This is very applicable stuff. November is a great issue too.

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