Every marketing professional can sing the same lament about trying to get a decision made in a law firm. Even brilliant suggestions are met with resistance that is so elegant that you have to almost admire it. ecdc_125x34.gifThanks to The Economist, I think I may have an insight to offer… no offence, it’s because we lawyers behave like monkeys – well, at least, in one particular way we do. We are so afraid of being wrong, we’ll act irrationally to avoid it. images-3.jpgThe article is Monkey business-sense with the tag line Monkeys show the same “irrational” aversion to risks as humans. In case you are too busy to read it, I will quote the last paragraph for you:

What that explanation is has yet to be worked out. One possibility is that in nature, with a food supply that is often barely adequate, losses that lead to the pangs of hunger are felt more keenly than gains that lead to the comfort of satiety. Agriculture has changed that calculus, but people still have the attitudes of the hunter-gatherer wired into them. Economists take note.

FAST FORWARD: I have been working with people inside law firms for years to help them achieve greater influence. This is evidence that the key is to take risk out of the decision in whatever way possible. I will write more about this in the future and will happily entertain either questions or your anecdotes and suggestions.