IT Workers Strategize Differently About Problems

E. Forrest Christian Change, Computers/IT, Reviews - Articles Leave a Comment

Frank Chisholm, CEO of AptSoft, used role playing with his employees. (“Not Just Play Acting”, by Chris Penttila. From the July 11, 2003 CRN) He

discovered that technology workers tend to strategize differently from other employees. For example, when a customer asks if a product can perform specialized functions, IT employees might be inclined to simply answer no.

Interesting finding that we should consider in our technical sales staffing.

Role playing has been shown to greatly increase forecasting accuracy, yet it has a pretty bad reputation with the academy. Probably because it does not have a theoretical or mathematical background to it, but more of a three-year old feel: “Okay, you pretend to be the cops and me and Mary will be the robbers.”

For more information about how role playing greatly increases the probability of obtaining correct answers about others’ actions, see J. Scott Armstrong’s write up about the Kesten Green controversy. Look under the entry for J. S. Armstrong (2002), “Assessing Game Theory, Role Playing, and Unaided Judgment”. Kesten Green also has his own website with interesting articles.

About the Author

Forrest Christian

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E. Forrest Christian is a consultant, coach, author, trainer and speaker at The Manasclerk Company who helps managers and experts find insight and solutions to what seem like insolvable problems. Cited for his "unique ability and insight" by his clients, Forrest has worked with people from almost every background, from artists to programmers to executives to global consultants. Forrest lives and works plain view of North Carolina's Mount Baker.  [contact]

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