The Four Forces of a Customer Decision


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A force is defined as a push or pull that changes an object’s state of motion or causes the object to deform. In nature, there are four fundamental forces (courtesy of the University of Tenn):

  1. The strong interaction is very strong but very short-ranged. It acts only over ranges of order 10-13 centimeters and is responsible for holding the nuclei of atoms together. It is basically attractive, but can be effectively repulsive in some circumstances.
  2. The electromagnetic force causes electric and magnetic effects such as the repulsion between like electrical charges or the interaction of bar magnets. It is long-ranged but much weaker than the strong force. It can be attractive or repulsive, and acts only between pieces of matter carrying electrical charge.
  3. he weak force is responsible for radioactive decay and neutrino interactions. It has a very short range and, as its name indicates, it is very weak.
  4. The gravitational force is weak, but very long ranged. Furthermore, it is always attractive and acts between any two pieces of matter in the Universe since mass is its source.

Thus, although gravitation is extremely weak, it always wins over cosmological distances and, therefore, is the most important force for the understanding of the large-scale structure and evolution of the Universe.

In many Job –To-Be Done-Frameworks I see the mention of the Four Forces affecting a customer’s decision-making process. Not sure exactly who to contribute it to though I first ran across it in the Progress Making Forces Diagram by Chris Spiek. These four forces are:

  1. The Push of the Current Situation
  2. The Pull of the New Solution
  3. The Anxiety of the New Solution
  4. The Allegiance to the Current Situation

In the forces, you have the top two promoting a new choice and the bottom two blocking change. I keep struggling with thinking and prioritizing between the two. Even separating them to me there is not one clear cut winner. If I had to pick one, I would say the anxiety of the New Solution? And You?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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