I just started reading the book Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior. I have to say, I agree with a good number of it's suggestions for how people behave. I think this has a lot to do with brand and how people respond to brands and make purchases.
When there is an emotional response tied to an outcome, then people act irrationally (which is why advertising has been so effective over the years - it focuses on the outcomes of what the product can give you). For some reason, people will focus on that outcome and tie it very closely to their self-value.
I think this is why products need to live up to their claims. It's less about delivering and committing to a promise (although, that does mean a lot in any type of relationship), but it's more about someone placing an aspect of their identity in a belief that the outcome will benefit them and make them look good. A good example of this is the airline pilot example in the book - he didn't want to be the blame for the company paying for 500 overnight hotel rooms. He was so attached to not being the cause of that, he made irrational decisions and caused a plane crash. The same could be true for product implementations - the champion of the implementation will move forward with implementing a product and has so much on the line to deliver whether it works or not - well, so much on the line for the person himself. It almost HAS to work so the person saves face to the rest of the organization. The champion doesn't see walking away as an option - because walking away means the promotion or raise or colleague respect has "walked away" as well. But walking away is always an option and an option that I think many system companies don't expect to have happen.
More on this tomorrow - but wanted to get back to blogging again....